Officer Jeff Colletti Denied Civil and Constitutional Rights When County Refuses His Request for Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Attorney Paul J. Margiotta of The Margiotta Law Firm, P.C., announced today that he is seeking $100 million in damages for his client, Officer Jeff Colletti, claiming Officer Colletti’s civil rights were violated when he was denied a leave of absence to care for his sick wife and newborn child, and that his client should have been entitled to take time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
According to Mr. Margiotta, Officer Colletti – a 20-year veteran – suffered an injury in the line of duty on September 8, 2006, when he responded to a call for an emergency situation from his fellow officers. While responding to the situation, Officer Colletti suffered serious and permanent injury to his right Achilles tendon. As a result, he was placed on “line of duty injury” status.
For the next five months, Officer Colletti underwent intense physical therapy to heal his Achilles tendon. On February 26, 2007, Officer Colletti was admitted to North Shore/Long Island Jewish Hospital for surgery to correct his injury. On September 30, 2007, Officer Colletti came off his “line of duty” status.
On March 29, 2008, his wife Christine gave birth to their child, Saverio Paul Colletti. About a month later – on April 28, 2008 – Christine experienced severe and debilitating post partum depression. She was admitted to John J. Mather Hospital on May 11, 2008, as a result of the severe and life-threatening condition.
Officer Colletti requested leave on April 1, 2008 – pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Nassau County and the Sherriff Officers Association of Nassau County – to take care of his seriously ill wife and his newborn son. David Kondrup, Acting Deputy Undersherriff, Nassau County Sherriff’s Department, denied Officer Colletti’s request. On April 30, 2008, Michael F. Adams, President, Sherriff Officers Association, appealed to Acting Deputy Undersherriff Kondrup to reconsider his denial and grant Officer Colletti’s request. His appeal met with no response.
“The county knowingly violated my client’s civil and constitutional rights when they denied his request to take time off to be by his wife’s side and care for his infant child,” Mr. Margiotta said. “Officer Jeff Colletti has served on the force for 20 years and has a spotless record. It is a tragedy to do something like this to a fine law enforcement official such as Jeff Colletti.”