April 1, 2014
Appeals court agrees: Rights of Jersey City cops who tested for steroids not violated
A lawsuit by two Jersey City police officers who said their rights were violated when they had high levels of testosterone in their systems suffered another blow when a state appeals court refused to overturn its dismissal.
Jersey City Police Officers Brian McGovern and Nicholas Kramer’s initial lawsuit was dismissed in Superior Court in February 2013 when the court ruled that then-Jersey City Police Chief Thomas Comey acted within his rights to have a number of officers tested for testosterone. The lower court ruled that the actions of Jersey City and the police department were justified when McGovern was placed on modified duty and Kramer was placed on leave while they still had high levels of testosterone in their systems. The appeals court, in a March 28 decision, affirmed the lower court’s ruling. Kramer, McGovern and several other officers also filed a lawsuit in federal court that was dismissed. The appeals court decision noted that the lawsuit in state court and the plaintiffs’ appeal did not differ significantly from the federal lawsuit. D. Gayle Loftis, the attorney for the two officers, could not be reached for comment. McGovern has been on the force since 1999 and earned $104,000 annually; and Kramer has been a police officer since 2006 and earns $100,000 annually, according to city records. According to court documents, Comey received information from the New York Police Department in 2008 that up to 50 Jersey City police officers were purchasing testosterone products from a Brooklyn pharmacy. The appellate panel agreed with the lower court given that information, the chief had the right to drug-test officers to make sure they were fit for duty. McGovern was returned to regular duty when his testosterone level returned to a normal level and Kramer, who “failed” a second drug test, was put on leave for 159 days, according to court documents. Kramer returned to regular duty in 2009. http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2014/03/appeals_court_agrees_rights_of_jersey_city_cops_who_tested_for_steroids_not_violated.html