School Pooper Says Cops Were 'Malicious, Unlawful'

Thomas Tramaglini takes issue with release of his mugshot
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 27, 2019 5:53 AM CST
NJ School Pooper Sues Cops Over 'Significant Harm'
Thomas Tramaglini makes his initial appearance in Holmdel Municipal Court in Holmdel, NJ, on June 12, 2018.   (Thomas P. Costello/The Asbury Park Press via AP, Pool)

A former school superintendent who made headlines after he was charged with defecating on another high school's track has asked New Jersey's attorney general to investigate whether police acted unlawfully when they took his mugshot and released it to the media. In a letter to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Monday, attorney Matthew Adams said the actions by the Holmdel Police Department were designed to "create a media spectacle" around the charges against Thomas Tramaglini, who has a medical condition that affects his bowel movements when he runs, per the AP. Tramaglini was issued summonses in May after police alleged he repeatedly defecated on the Holmdel High School track. He eventually pleaded guilty to relieving himself in public on one occasion and paid a $500 fine. He resigned from the Kenilworth school district.

Adams alleged that state law prevents police from taking and releasing mugshots of people charged with low-level offenses such as those faced by Tramaglini. According to his letter, a review of arrest reports provided by the township involving similar violations of municipal ordinances since 2007 revealed no instances in which mugshots were released. "The malicious and unlawful conduct by one or more representatives of the Holmdel Township Police Department achieved exactly what was apparently intended, and Dr. Tramaglini has sustained significant harm," Adams wrote. A spokesman for Grewal said Tuesday the letter was being reviewed. Tramaglini has already filed a notice of intent to sue the police department for potential damages of more than $1 million due to loss of income, harm to his reputation, emotional distress, and invasion of privacy. (More on that here.)

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