Home News NJ police chief suing Mendham Township for sexual harassment

NJ police chief suing Mendham Township for sexual harassment

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Police Chief Steve Crawford. LinkedIn.
Police Chief Steve Crawford. LinkedIn.


New Jersey Police Chief Steven Crawford is suing his own township, claiming that he has been a victim of sexual harassment for the last three years.

According to The Daily Record, Crawford filed his notice of intent to sue this past Tuesday after 28 years on the force.

Crawford stated that he has been sexually harassed on the job since 2012, and the treatment he received became even worse since he held a news conference defending police against allegations of motorist profiling last year.

In the suit, Crawford claims that officials and employees “unlawfully and wrongfully harassed [him] by making inappropriate statements to him concerning such matters as Crawford’s age, physique, out-of-office personal and family relationships, sexuality, sexual orientation, size of his genitals, morals and reputation.”

Crawford reported the abuse to officials, but no action was taken to stop it.

Among the names that have been identified in Crawfords’s suit are township committee members Samuel Tolley and Maribeth Thomas, along with former committee member Richard Merkt and former township administrator Amy Upchurch.

Merkt has expressed disbelief over Crawford’s claims.

“It is odd that the Chief never mentioned any complaint about sexual harassment to me, although I served on the township committee from early 2011 until September 2014,” he stated in an email. Merkt went on to say, “It’s remarkable that if sexual harassment started in 2012 he never brought it to anyone’s attention.”

According NJ Advance Media, committee member Tolley said he wasn’t familiar with the claims of sexual harassment, but did say “there’s no substance” to the allegations against him. “It’s just unfortunate,” he said, but declined to comment further.

NJ Advance Media also reported that township attorney John Mills III said that the municipality denies the allegations. Former township administrator Upchurch resigned earlier this month and could not be reached.

NJ Advance Media also said that an email to township committee member Thomas has not yet been returned.

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