A 2-year statute of limitation has caused the judge to dismiss the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by four senior, male police officers against Haddon township police chief Mark Cavallo. Out of four counts, three were dismissed because though the officers claimed to be victims of sexual harassment since 2008, they cited no incidents since March 2016.
The senior officers had accused their superior of making inappropriate comments to and about them that were sexual in nature, including unwanted verbal solicitations. They stated that he touched them on the upper, inner thigh, and claimed to have witnessed Cavallo doing the same to other police officers.
The township had an attorney investigate the complaints, which the township mayor Randall Teague claimed were submitted after Cavallo had expressed intentions to retire and then changed his mind. Teague mentioned that the allegations were made at a time when police department promotions were being discussed and advertised.
Jeffrey Caccese, the attorney representing the four officers, emphasized that their decision to come forward with their concerns was difficult and not taken lightly. He also emphasized that no action was taken by the township to remedy the troubling situation.
The one remaining complaint in the lawsuit is for a claim of retaliation made after March 2016. This claim was made when Cavallo demanded that the officers had broken the chain of command by criticizing the promotion process.
A fifth officer had filed a lawsuit shortly after being let go in 2015 due to an eye condition that hindered his ability to work. While he had originally claimed to have received inappropriate communications from Cavallo, including sexually charged texts and images, he settled for $175,000 in exchange for agreeing he had no inappropriate communication from him.
The complaints filed by the four officers remain nothing more than allegations after being dismissed, and Cavallo continues to serve as police chief. At 59 years of age, Cavallo has been police chief since 2009 and served on the Haddon Township police force for 34 years.
Meanwhile, the four officers continue to serve under Cavallo, with one accuser—Captain Scott Bishop—serving as the second-highest ranking officer in the department.