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Judge dismisses suspended Cliffside Park officer’s harassment complaint against retired captain

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

UPDATE: A judge in Hackensack yesterday dismissed a harrassment complaint brought by a suspended Cliffside Park police officer against a retired captain and his family.

Former Patrol Officer John Lemkin alleged that retired Capt. Michael Russo and his children posted libelous comments about him online — including that he was “mentally deficient,” “a little girl who plays with a fake cop car” and a “mommys boy.”

But Central Municipal Court Judge Roy F. McGeady said these were protected free speech.

What’s more, the judge said, these weren’t part of any type of series or campaign, which could rise to the level of a criminal offense. Rather, he said, they were all written the same day.

Lemkin already is appealing an April ruling by fellow Superior Judge Eugene Austin upholding McGeady’s conviction of him for trying to make his personal car look like an undercover police cruiser without authorization.

SEE: Defense lawyer: Suspended Cliffside Park officer appealing conviction in altered car case

The decision includes an order that Lemkin resign and never hold a public job again, although that’s on hold while Lemkin appeals it to a higher court.

Lemkin’s lawyer said he aims to determine “who the real culprit is.”

“Officer [Jon] Lemkin will never — and I repeat: never — give up this cause, nor will my firm on his behalf,” the attorney, Patrick Toscano, told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

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