Cop Reinstated After Being Fired for Preventing Brutality by Others

About three years ago I reported on the case of Regina Tasca, a police officer in Bogota, New Jersey who was fired after pulling two fellow officers off a mentally ill teenager they were savagely beating. They were called to help get the kid to a hospital, he hadn’t done anything wrong. A court has now ordered that Tasca be reinstated with all back pay due:

A Superior Court judge has invalidated the firing of the borough’s first female police officer and ruled the town must reinstate her and give her back pay.

In an 18-page ruling handed down Thursday, Judge Rachelle Harz, presiding in Superior Court in Hackensack, concluded that then-mayor Pat McHale and then-councilman Tito Jackson had conflicts of interest and should have recused themselves from all disciplinary matters and proceedings concerning the termination of Regina Tasca in 2012.

“Their failure to do so tainted the entire disciplinary proceeding, compelling an invalidation of all disciplinary action taken against Tasca as a matter of law,’’ Harz wrote in her decision.

Unfortunately, that’s the wrong basis for such a ruling. Would the situation be any more appalling if there hadn’t been a conflict of interest? Of course not. Tasca should never have been put through this in the first place. The two officers (from another department) who beat the hell out of the kid they were called to protect and get to a hospital should have been fired (they weren’t, of course). Tasca should get a commendation for doing her job.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • mistertwo

    “Would the situation be any more appalling if there hadn’t been a conflict of interest?”

    I think you said that backward.

  • dugglebogey

    There should be a special award for cops to stand up to other cops for breaking the law. It’s so rare and difficult to actually do, there should be a special bravery citation just for cops who are willing to do it.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    Tasca should get a commendation for doing her job.

    No, she shouldn’t, and I mean that in a positive way. That’s how sad the state of affairs is when it’s noteworthy that a police officer is doing her job.

  • John Pieret

    Oh! … That’s the reason!

    This whole thing seemed so out of proportion … firing her for pulling a cop from another PD off someone and not supporting his version of the story?

    Tasca is a lesbian! Now it all becomes clear!

  • doublereed

    Unfortunately, that’s the wrong basis for such a ruling. Would the situation be any more appalling if there hadn’t been a conflict of interest? Of course not.

    They might just be referring to retaliation as a conflict of interest (which would be accurate) and that’s perfectly fine reasoning. She was retaliated against and therefore it is invalid.

  • doublereed

    Oh nevermind, I just read the article. This isn’t settled. There are a bunch of other claims that need to be settled:

    Jonathan Nirenberg, another of Tasca’s attorneys, said he expects to go to trial later this year on the other counts, which include allegations of harassment, retaliation and discrimination.

    “Officer Tasca looks forward to returning to service for the Bogota Police Department,’’ said Nirenberg. “We look forward to a trial later this year at which we will have the opportunity to prove Officer Tasca’s harassment, discrimination and retaliation claim.”

  • grumpyoldfart

    The other cops will be spitting chips when they find out how much cash she gets – and in a lump sum! Then they’ll make her life on the job so miserable she will eventually resign.

  • tfkreference

    Of course, gof, and I hope that as soon as the check clears she moves to a community with an upstanding PD (I’m sure ther are some – she’ll know by whether they hire her). It sucks in the big picture, but at least she can have some hope (I hope).

  • bmiller

    I agee with grumpy.

    Would she realy want to go back and work at this benighted upper middle class suburban Mayberry?