$10M Notice Filed Vs. NJ, Atlantic City Mayor, Council & Others
John Devlin, the former Chairman of the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority has filed a Tort Claims Notice versus the following state, local entities and individuals as a result of Devlin’s recent ouster from the ACMUA board.
In order to seek financial damages from the state of New Jersey or the City of Atlantic City, Devlin, as the claimant is required to first file a Tort Claims Notice outlining his intent to sue the entities and individuals.
Devlin has now done so.
Here are the names(s) of public entity and/or employee(s) alleged to have caused the injuries, damages, or losses to Devlin as follows:
Michael Armstrong, Executive Director of the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority (ACMUA), Jacquelyn Suarez, Director of Department of Community Affairs, Phillip Gonzales, Department of Community Affairs, State of New Jersey, Department of Community Affairs, Mayor Marty Small (City of Atlantic City), Bruce Ward (former Executive Director of the ACMUA), Atlantic City Councilpersons Kaleem Shabazz and Stephanie Marshall, George Tibbitt, Hossain Morshed, and Muhammed Zia, Claude Smith (employee of the ACMUA) individually; and City of Atlantic City John Does 1-10 and ACMUA.
The amount in damages that Devlin presently claims is set at $10,000,000.00
Directly from the Tort Claims Notice, it reads:
”Further, Marty Small, Mayor of the City of Atlantic City, engaged in a continuous pattern and practice or custom of soliciting and directing other private persons and public employees and officials, including members of the City Council of Atlantic City, Kaleem Shabazz, Stephanie Marshall, George Tibbitt, Hossain Morshed, Muhammed Zia to commit acts of official misconduct, perjury, false swearing, the submission of false certifications and affidavits to a Court all as part of a conspiracy to politically retaliate and discriminate against the Claimant John Devlin a political adversary of Mayor Small and Small’s wife and have the Claimant removed from Public Office and to attempt to neutralize him as a political opponent.“
It goes on to state that Mayor small held secret meetings, which purposely excluded select city Council Members in order to violate the Open Meetings Act, "to discuss the removal of the Claimant from the ACMUA Board.
Devlin claims that Small was, "in violation of the New Jersey and Federal RICO Statute, the New Jersey Civil Rights Act, Conscientious Employee Protection Act, fundamental principals of due process, and also constituting tortious interference with prospective economic advantage and contract, defamation, libel, slander per se, and conspiracy to commit perjury, false swearing, violations of the Open Public Meetings Act, mail fraud, and official misconduct. Small conspired with the above-referenced council members.”
Devlin alleges that retaliation against him came as the direct result of him requesting an investigation into incidents of “child abuse that occurred within the Atlantic City School District involving Mayor Small’s family members."
The former Chairman of the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority had requested an investigation with the Atlantic City School District and other government and law enforcement agencies.
Devlin further alleges that Small led a process that constitutes a conspiracy to take away his public position and attempt to damage his reputation in the community.
We had the first interview with Devlin over the weekend regarding his formal claim and intent to litigate this matter. It was a wide-ranging discussion.
Devlin provided the following exclusive comments to us as follows:
“It’s unfortunate that I have to go down this path; however, I will not sit idle while political lackeys like Mike Armstrong, Bruce Ward, and Claude Smith spew lies about me and try to damage my good name. It’s obvious they have an agenda for the ACMUA and are controlled by outside entities. The last thing they wanted was someone like me asking questions and demanding transparency.”
“I was simply doing my duty by serving Atlantic City residents and beyond. It’s clear I did not get a fair hearing from City Council’s Kangaroo Court. It’s also no secret that the city council is controlled by Mayor Marty Small.”
My rights were violated and laws were broken. The mayor even held a secret meeting with the majority of [the] city council just to remove me.[/pullquotes]
“I did my job diligently and with professionalism. I have no doubt now moving forward with this lawsuit that I will have my fair day in court. I look forward to the legal process and welcome depositions so we can find out who the real political bosses are and who is making money off the back of our good citizens and taxpayers.”
“All I did as a commissioner and chairman was to make sure that we delivered safe, clean, and affordable water. I did my job and I would do it again,” concluded Devlin.
SOURCES: John Devlin & Devlin Tort Claim Notice.