A New Jersey cop has won favorably in a legal battle against the township of Edison after a legal battle involving a 2012 scandal where he coerced a woman to show off her lingerie while he was off duty.
The incident began when EPD Officer Anthony Sarni was called to an extended stay hotel after a prankster had set off a fire extinguisher under a woman’s hotel room door. Noticing she was attractive and had recently purchased new Victoria’s Secret underwear (and marijuana, which he let her flush down the toilet), he asked her to model some for him.
When the woman refused, he gave up and left, coming back when he was off-duty but still in uniform. She reportedly modeled the underwear for him, but said she did not want to have sex with him. When she continued to be contacted by him, she notified Internal Affairs.
While the account of what actually happened is highly disputed, the incident resulted in the (married) Sarni being suspended with pay in October 2013, ultimately being fired in 2015. That is when he began suing.
Ordered to be reinstated by Superior Court Judge Douglas Wolfan, the city was less than happy when Sarni -who is know known as the “lingerie cop”- returned to work in March with a salary of $125,978.
However, earlier this month, attorneys representing Sarni approached Town Attorney William Northgrave with a lucrative offer.
“I was approached by counsel for officer Anthony Sarni with whom there has been a tremendous amount of litigation over the years,” Northgrave said during the December 14 Edison council meeting. “If you approve these agreements tonight all issues with Officer Sarni are behind us.”
Now 42 years of age, Sarni will retire as part of his lawsuit settlements, receiving his pension, as well as the following amenities:
- $212,000, which covers accumulated vacation pay and legal fees capped at $150,000
- $32,000 paid by the township’s insurance, equivalent to three month’s pay
In addition, Sarni’s 2017 is being bumped to $130,240, which will be paid to him -as he has currently been on medical leave since August- until he enters the pension system. If he does into get approved for pension by 2018, he will retire.
While Sarni is only a 13-year veteran of the force, he could still receive a disability pension.
“While Edison Township believes it was correct in all actions it took, this resolution permits the Township to assure that Mr. Sarni will never return to his position as a Township police officer and it ends all existing and future litigation, including the need to pay any additional attorneys’ fees,” the township told NJ.com in an emailed statement.
Sarni’s attorney was not available for comment.
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