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Reinstate PA Sgts. Who were demoted after slam in post

Published: August 5, 2013

Publication: The Chief

By Mark Toor

The Port Authority Police Department is paying $200,000 in damages and reinstating two Sergeants who were demoted to Police Officer after complaints that they were originally promoted because they were chauffeurs to Superintendent of Police Michael Fedorko.

The New York Post published a story in September 2011 quoting “angry critics” as saying that the two officers, Robert J. Coccodrilli and Georgeos Masouridis, had been promoted “over dozens of more-qualified officers.”

‘Both Have MBAs’

“In fact the two were highly skilled administrative personnel with MBAs,” said their attorney, Arthur Z. Schwartz. “Suit was brought challenging their demotions as a violation of their constitutional right to due process.”

The settlement, dated July 15, said the pair had “successfully completed the Sergeant process and…been found ‘highly recommended’ for promotion.” They will return to the Sergeant’s rank in the next regular round of promotions.

In addition to the promotions, the two officers were awarded $100,000 each in damages. Mr. Schwartz’s firm was granted a $50,000 fee.

The pair, who each started in the NYPD, switched over to the PAPD in 2002, according to the Post.

Passed But Not Picked

The PAPD promotion process requires officers to pass a Sergeant’s exam. In the 2011 promotions, 60 officers who passed were randomly selected, from whom 16 were chosen for promotion. The pair passed the exam, but they were not among 60 randomly selected officers. The Post said they were given the slots anyway. Mr. Fedorko characterized the upgrades as “field promotions.”

“It’s about time that the Port Authority stopped letting the phony newspaper, the New York Post, dictate policy, especially policy concerning working people,” Mr. Schwartz said.

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