Trooper Wins Jury Award in Whistleblower Suit

Jurors have awarded a New Jersey state trooper who filed a whistle-blower lawsuit more than $1 million.

 

Detective Sgt. 1st Class Brian Royster's lawyer said jurors in Essex County on Wednesday found the State Police and Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes violated the act which aims to protect those who speak out.

Royster, who is black, filed suit in 2005. The 48-year-old claimed cases pending with the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action unit were stalled without reason and troopers accused of misconduct were allowed to retire instead of being disciplined.

Royster told The Star-Ledger of Newark he was vindicated by a jury of his peers.

The state is reviewing the verdict and deciding whether to appeal.

Royster has retired and now works as an assistant professor of criminal justice.

The New Jersey State Police came under fire several years ago for racial profiling. The agency recently took heat for an incident in which troopers provided a high-speed escort for a sports car club.

Nancy Solomon contributed reporting.