Appellate Division Nixes Police Officer’s New Jersey Whistleblower Case
An important New Jersey employment law decision was recently issued by the Appellate Division in the case of Dibuonaventura vs. Washington Township. The case has a long and tangled history, but this decision illustrates several important employment law rules affecting New Jersey government employees.
Background: Dibuonaventura I & II
Joseph Dibuonaventura was a police officer in Washington Township. In 2012, he pulled over the Township’s former mayor and charged him with driving while under the influence of alcohol and refusing to take a breathalyzer test. The former mayor disputed the charges and lodged internal affairs and criminal complaints against Officer Dibuonaventura. Eventually the officer was indicted, and the Township suspended him pending the outcome of the criminal charges. He was eventually found not guilty of all criminal charges by a jury.