HACKENSACK, N.J. (CN) – A former state investigator claims members of the Organized Crime Unit in the New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice were involved with Mafiosos, behavior that included “visits to each other’s homes, vacationing together [and] family dinners.” And he claims that state cops illegally seized money from suspects and dropped a criminal investigation because the subject was a “prominent political figure.”
James Sweeney, who began working for the New Jersey state police in 1964, sued New Jersey, its Office of the Attorney General, the Division of Criminal Justice and three supervisors in Bergen County Court.
Sweeney says that after he was promoted to investigator in the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Unit in 2004, he learned that a co-worker had a personal relationship with a man identified only as “FL,” who was an “alleged member of the Genovese and Gambino Organized Crime Families.”
Sweeney also claims that the Prosecutor’s Office “confiscated monies from ‘FL’s’ home and failed to provide the family with a receipt … when they requested an inventory of items removed from the premises.”
Sweeney claims that “MM,” the co-worker who was friends with “FL,” later called FL into his office and handed him the business card of a lawyer who allegedly “could make 90 percent of his legal problems go away,” advice that FL did not take, as their relationship “soured, in part because ‘FL’ claimed not all of his money and property were returned to him.”
Sweeney claims that “dealings with alleged members of Organized Crime families” were ignored in his department, to the point that MM did not allow “members of the Division … to review transcripts of electronic surveillance.”
Sweeney claims the department failed to investigate the corruption because the prosecutor of a certain county “was being considered for a high-ranking position within the Office of the Attorney General” and was a “prominent political figure in the Democratic Party in the state” who could “potentially have been the next boss of the organization.”
Sweeney says that after FL was murdered in 2007, his supervisors “advised him to immediately cease his investigation into the homicide” and “directed him to eliminate any connection between ‘FL’ and the Division of Criminal Justice.”
Sweeney claims those orders “knowingly obstructed an ongoing investigation.”
“To this day, no one has been charged with ‘FL’s’ murder,” according to the complaint.
Sweeney claims he was fired in September 2008 after his “cellular phone number appeared on a dialed number receiver of electronic surveillance” of a source, which led his bosses to believe that he was “continuing with an investigation into ‘FL’s’ murder.”
Sweeney seeks damages for RICO conspiracy, wrongful termination, retaliation and intention infliction of emotional distress.
He is represented by Robert Tandy of Montvale, N.J.