Hurley in the Morning has learned and confirmed that Egg Harbor Township Police Lieutenant Cherie Burgan has filed a comprehensive lawsuit It reads:

Cherie Burgan, Plaintiff v. vs. EHT Administrator Peter Miller, EHT Mayor Paul Hodson, Chief Raymond Davis, Captain Michael Hughes, Chief Michael Steinman along with John Does 1 through 50, inclusive, fictitious named defendants, jointly, severally, and in the alternative, Defendants.

See a copy of the nine page complaint here.

Burgan has served in the following capacities within the EHT Police Department as follows: Traffic Safety Unit, School Resource Officer, Drug Recognition expert, DRE Instructor, Juvenile Detective, Special Operations Unit Detective, Patrol and Traffic Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Police Academy Physical Fitness Instructor, and Patrol Lieutenant.

The suit asserts that Burgan is the only female ever promoted to the rank of Sergeant and Lieutenant by the defendants.

The heart of Burgan’s lawsuit centers around a previous opening in or around the Spring of 2019 for Captain of Police.

Burgan alleges that she was not given consideration for the position. She states that she was an 18-year department employee at the time of the Captain opening.

Burgan’s complaint also details that she was the first female ever department eligible to qualify for promotion to Captain.

Burgan alleges that she was not permitted to interview for promotion for Captain.

Another telling issue in this case, this is the first time in Burgan’s career (nearly two decades) that no interviews were conducted and no formal application process was done according to Burgan.

Burgan alleges that she only found out that she was not considered for the promotion to Captain after she wrote a letter of inquiry.

A male police lieutenant was given the promotion and Burgan believes that she is a victim of “disparate treatment on the basis of sex.”

There are many more layers to the allegations, including that Burgan contacted Mayor Hodson’s office and the fallout that allegedly resulted from this.

Editorial note from Harry Hurley:

There is no civil service protection in Egg Harbor Township.

Egg Harbor Township can select any qualified candidate of their choice. There are no requirements to interview, consider seniority, or any other formal process.

Still, this was a bad way to handle it. It has now opened up the Egg Harbor Taxpayers to unnecessary liability because they deviated from their long-standing practice of having an application process and conducting interviews.

They almost made this same mistake a number of years ago, but, they figured it out for themselves before making an unjust decision.

However, this was when James J. “Sonny” McCullough was Mayor and he didn’t make self-inflicted mistakes like this.

In my view, Hodson has been a disaster as Mayor.

Finally, the Lieutenant that was promoted to Captain is a qualified, very good man. He’s a credit to Egg Harbor Township and the Police Department.

Egg Harbor Township’s biggest mistake regarding this matter was that they failed to follow past practices and give honest consideration to all eligible candidates.

Following that, they were free to pick any qualified candidate of their choosing.

Also note, Cherie Burgan is the Daughter of former Egg Harbor Township Committeeman/Atlantic County Freeholder John Carman.

To read the lawsuit, please click on the link below.

 

SOURCE: Superior Court of New Jersey Civil Division Complaint

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