Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Council Approves Payouts to Riotto

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Council Approves Payouts to Riotto

Article excerpt

HACKENSACK — The former commander of the police narcotics unit, one of seven officers accused of breaking into an apartment building last year, will receive $142,382 in retirement payouts.

Former Capt. Vincent Riotto and six other officers were accused of breaking into a Prospect Avenue apartment and conducting a warrantless search last December. The resulting internal affairs investigation led to the dismissal of eight criminal cases.

The City Council approved the accrued time payouts for Riotto on Tuesday night in a unanimous vote. Riotto, who retired last month, struck a deal with the city to have his disciplinary charges dropped and allow him to retain his pension and retirement payouts. In exchange, Riotto was to drop his portion of a federal lawsuit filed against the city and city officials in April.

"The legal issues involving Mr. Riotto have been amicably resolved, and he is entitled to the same benefits upon retirement as any other similarly situated employee," said Steve Kleinman, the city attorney.

Riotto declined to comment. Calls to city labor attorney Ray Wiss were not returned. City Manager Ted Ehrenburg also declined to comment, citing the case as a personnel matter.

Disciplinary hearings for five of the officers, four of whom were on Riotto's unit, are underway. A hearing Monday was canceled, but hearings are expected to continue Wednesday. The city is pursuing those officers' termination.

Last December, Riotto, former Lt. Scott Sybel, Detective Sgt. Justin De La Bruyere, Detectives Mark Gutierrez, Joseph Gonzalez and Rocco Duardo and Officer Victor Vazquez allegedly broke into an apartment at 64 Prospect Ave.

The ensuing internal affairs investigation and disciplinary charges against the officers led Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal to drop eight cases the officers had investigated. The eight cases involved 16 defendants, including repeat drug offenders and at least one known gang member. …

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