Monday, September 30, 2019
A motion seeking to reverse an earlier dismissal of a complaint against Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson and Freeholder Frank Formica was denied by Cumberland County Superior Court Judge James R. Swift on Friday, September 27.
“This is the second time the judge has dismissed this case,” noted Levinson. “There was no justification for this complaint, yet our taxpayers must foot the bill to fight these frivolous allegations at a cost of more than $25,000.”
The motion was filed by attorneys for former Atlantic County Assistant Prosecutor Diane Ruberton, former Lt. Heather McManus and current Assistant Prosecutor Donna Fetzer who alleged gender discrimination, retaliation and other illicit behavior by Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner and others in his office.
“The county has no authority over whom the state appoints as prosecutor and who that prosecutor hires, fires, promotes or demotes,” explained Levinson, “all of which is well known to the plaintiffs.”
The judge determined there was no basis for reconsideration and therefore reaffirmed his earlier decision with the dismissal of the complaint against Levinson and Formica with prejudice, according to their attorney, Russell Lichtenstein, a partner at Cooper Levenson. As a result, the plaintiffs cannot bring them back to court.