Glen Ridge police officer Merritt Carr, who filed suit against the police and Borough of Glen Ridge four years ago, alleging harassment and intimidation by Chief Shelia Byron-Lagattuta, settled his lawsuit for $675,000, according to court documents. Carr agreed to waive any future employment with the Glen Ridge Police Department as part of the settlement; the settlement document states the payment is “no admission of fault.”
Carr, in a filed complaint, said Byron-Lagattuta was allegedly abusive and engaged in a systematic pattern of harassment.
The complaint outlined a long list of allegations against the department and the borough, including that Chief Byron-Lagattuta gets manicures and massages in her office during work hours and violating report release procedures by hand delivering a criminal mischief report to Justin Bieber so she could meet him in person. The complaint also alleges that Chief Byron-Lagattuta repeatedly and unduly censured Carr for relatively minor infractions. Sgt. Carr says he was removed from his position as firing range instructor and transferred from patrol sergeant to an administrative sergeant, a role that was indicated to have less flexible scheduling and fewer benefits.
The Borough of Glen Ridge settled with the former assistant to Chief of Police Sheila Byron-Lagattuta . In the suit, Byron’s former assistant, Thanny Rodriguez, claimed she was subject to sexual harassment and racial discrimination daily by Byron-Lagattuta, which resulted in a hostile work environment. Rodriguez claimed Byron frequently made unwanted sexual advances, inappropriate racially motivated comments regarding her physical appearance, and requested massages inside of her office. Before being employed by the Borough, Rodriguez had been Byron’s masseuse at a Massage Envy in Verona.