Trenton Settles Suit with Fire Captain for $1.8 Million

A Trenton fire captain who claims he was wrongfully forced off the job by a battalion chief who operated a promotional prep business, has settled his harassment and retaliation lawsuit for $1.8 million.

Captain Michael Strycharz alleges that he was improperly pressured to retire and subjected to a series of disciplinary investigations. He claims a battalion chief, who also served as union president, sought to have him retire in order to create an opening so that one of the students in his promotional prep business could get his captain’s spot.

Strycharz ended up retiring and filed suit against the city and three chief officers. The suit was filed in Mercer County Superior Court in 2017. According to NJ.com, the city has agreed to settle the case for $1,775,000. The news outlet quoted Strycharz’s attorney as saying:

“Although Michael received a very substantial settlement in order to resolve his claims, I do not believe anything can replace what Michael really wanted, which was to continue to serve the citizens of Trenton in a dangerous job that he loved until he could retire on his own terms.”

 More on the story.

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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