NJ Mayor Vows Discipline in Sexual Harassment Scandal

A New Jersey mayor is vowing to bring disciplinary charges against firefighters involved in a sexual harassment scandal that was recently exposed in great detail by a local reporter.

Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman announced that the borough has filed disciplinary charges against firefighters who were named in a 2011 sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Kerry “Kira” Mansueto, a former volunteer with the Carteret Fire Department.

Mansueto’s lawsuit was settled last month sparking a news expose by Home News Tribune and MyCentralJersey.com reporter Sergio Bichao that Dave Statter covered in depth. Bichao’s coverage appears to have put pressure on Mayor Reiman to take action against the firefighters. According to a second article by Bichao, “Reiman made the announcement on his Facebook page hours after a Home News Tribune report exposing details of the case hit newsstands and porches.”

The timing of the mayor’s actions leaves many scratching their heads wondering why it took a news expose to prompt formal disciplinary action when the lawsuit and the allegations have been widely known long before Mansueto’s suit was filed in 2011.

Reiman claims that the lawsuit brought to light previously undisclosed evidence, and that the borough’s attorneys are seeking to require Mansueto to testify in the disciplinary proceedings as part of her obligations under the terms of the settlement.

Here is more on Bichao’s report.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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