Scales- Tilted in favor of Sussex County Justice System Sussex County
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The Case Chronology
17 February 1996
  • Thomas A. Cassidy is hired by the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
13 March 1996
  • At approximately 11:30 p.m. Natalie DeGennaro-Holley files a complaint with the Newton police alleging that Thomas A. Cassidy had verbally harassed her at Newton Memorial Hospital. Yet the case record indicates that 79-year-old Newton Memorial Hospital security guard Anthony D'Avino had stated "be careful" to DeGennaro-Holley causing her to file the complaint of verbal harassment.
    (For more information on this odd "game of triple-hearsay", see On the Exclusionary Rule).
14 March 1996
  • Patrolman Neil Casey of the Newton police department and Patrolman John Schetting of the Stillwater police department search for and seize firearms from the Cassidy home at 1:20 a.m. Both officers stated that they were in possession of a valid search warrant at the time of this search.
15 March 1996
  • Patrolman John Schetting and Ed Fransen of the Stillwater police department came to our home around noon and threatened to "tear the house apart again" if Thomas did not sign a consent to search form. Thomas acquiesced to their authority, not wanting to endure what happened the prior evening again. The officers seized several magazines for firearms.
19 March 1996
  • Thomas A. Cassidy filed a disorderly person complaint of simple assault with the Newton Municipal Court for an incident which occurred on 15 Feb 96 where Ms. DeGennaro had assaulted him.
27 March 1996
  • Charged with possession of assault weapons and high capacity magazines by Stillwater police department.
  • Charged with an act of simple assault by Detective Anthony Virga of the Newton police department for allegedly assaulting Ms. DeGennaro on 15 Feb 96. (Retaliation from the Newton police and their attempt to camouflage their unconstitutional conduct between 13-15 March 96. This is often referred to as "cover charges")
29 March 1996
  • Retained Attorney George Daggett to represent Thomas on criminal charges.
March 1996
  • Detectives Anthony Virga and Kenneth Armstrong of the Newton Police Department interview various persons and stated to them that they would see to it that Thomas A. Cassidy would never work in law enforcement again.
1 April 1996
  • Thomas A. Cassidy is suspended without pay from the NJ Department of Corrections. The PBA, a police and corrections union, refuses legal assistance stating that the criminal charges are not work related.
3 April 1996
  • Received letter from Attorney McGovern stating that the Sussex County prosecutor may be conflicted due to Thomas A. Cassidyís previous relations with the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office. McGovern further indicated that the NJ State Attorney General may have to handle the case.
26 April 1996
  • Sussex County Assistant Prosecutor LaCarruba petitions Judge N. Peter Conforti for the forfeiture of firearms. (Thomas A. Cassidy used to work for Mr. LaCarruba.)
April 1996
  • Numerous requests are made for discovery materials. (The State is required to provide defense attorneys with materials that the State will seek to use in support of their prosecution).
9 May 1996
  • Attorney William McGovern receives some discovery material. He indicates that the Sussex County Prosecutor is still handling the case, although conflicted. He also stated that the Sussex County Prosecutor would be handling the complaint that Thomas A. Cassidy had filed in municipal court!
23 May 1996
  • Sussex County Prosecutor indicates that he will drop complaints if Thomas A. Cassidy pays DeGennaro-Holley an undisclosed amount of money. (Talk of extortion begins.)

9 July 1996
  • Attorney William McGovern III states that the amount of money being requested by DeGennaro-Holley is $2,000. He also comments that this is obviously not justified in this situation.
  • Attorney William McGovern III meets with Attorney Peter Laemers (attorney of DeGennaro) and Judge N. Peter Conforti in Sussex County Superior Court, Family Division. Judge Conforti indicates to both attorneys that this case is nonsense and not worth being on the court calendar. Judge N. Peter Conforti attempts to persuade both attorneys to settle this matter out of court.
  • Attorney William McGovern III requests that prosecutor present an alleged cassette tape that was referred to in police reports. (There likely never was a tape, but there were many performances in reference to it.)
11 July 1996
  • Sussex County Assistant Prosecutor Vincent J. Connors, Jr. leads the Grand Jurors of Sussex County into indicting Thomas Cassidy.
28 August 1996
  • Attorney William McGovern III again requests tape from prosecutor asserting that he may have to make application to have the case dismissed if it is not provided.
26 September 96
  • Sussex County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Reed writes letter acknowledging that officers had presented documentation to Cassidy's as a valid search warrant.
12 November 1996
  • Attorney George T. Daggett writes motion to suppress evidence brief.
21 November 1996
  • Telephone call came into Newton Municipal Building requesting a tape. (This was the beginning of a staged act to make it appear that the municipal court judge was contacted on 13 MAR 96.)
22 November 1996
  • The Captain of the Newton police department, John Tomasula, stated to Ann Rosellen, a clerk at the Newton Municipal Building, that "we don't have the tape on the Cassidy case and without it weíre going to lose the case and all those guns."
3 December 1996
  • Newton Municipal Court Judge John Mulhern put on a production of taping an alleged domestic violence call in the Administration Section of the Newton Municipal Building . Judge John Mulhern asked a Newton police officer if he had the tape running. This was an unusual occurrence, as Judge John Mulhern nor the Newton Police do not even work on that floor of the building.
24 December 1996
  • Sussex County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Reed writes suppression brief now stating that search warrant was not valid.
December 1996
  • Natalie DeGennaro-Holley went to Newton Memorial Hospital to visit her mother, Maria DeGennaro, at the intensive care unit. While there, Natalie stated to one employee that "she was going to see to it that Tom would never work in law enforcement again."
4 February 1997
  • In an overt act of prosecutorial misconduct, Sussex County Assistant Prosecutor Vincent J. Connors, Jr. dismissed the complaint that Thomas A. Cassidy had filed against Ms. DeGennaro-Holley on 19 March 96.
  • Wrongfully convicted of simple assault in family court by Judge N. Peter Conforti.
  • Thomas A. Cassidy was sentenced to 1 year probation, Domestic Violence Assessment Center (DVAC), DECIDE, and numerous fines.
18 February 1997
  • Thomas A. Cassidy dismisses Attorney William McGovern III.
21 February 1997
  • Thomas A. Cassidy retains Attorney Evan F. Nappen to appeal conviction of simple assault, etc.
  • Appeal was filed, simple assault trial transcripts were requested from Bee Hammett, Sussex County Court Clerk.
21 March 1997
  • Seeking to capitalize on the recently acquired wrongful conviction, Assistant Prosecutor Jared L. McDavit files a supplemental brief in opposition to suppression motion.
27 March 1997
  • Interviewed by Domestic Violence Assessment Center (DVAC) counselor, Lenny Marano. At this interview/interrogation (RealPlayer) Marano repeatedly asked Thomas A. Cassidy questions regarding the possession of assault weapons. (DVAC was created by Sussex County Assistant Prosecutor Bruce LaCarruba. The girlfriend of LaCarrubba works for DVAC).
3 April 1997
  • Suppression motion is denied. Sussex County Superior Court Judge Gerald B. Hanifan, J.S.C. rules that exigent circumstances permitted the midnight warrantless search of the Cassidy home. Particular emphasis was placed on the wrongful conviction for simple assault in support of his decision.
April 1997
  • Domestic Violence Assessment Center (DVAC) counselor, Lenny Marano states to Thomas "Again, I just want to be very clear about something Tom, this is not, like, you know, out to get you (RealPlayer), these are just my recommendations, they're treatment."
1 July 1997
  • New Jersey Appellate Division Order dismisses Thomas A. Cassidyís Appeal for the wrongful simple assault conviction.
8 July 1997
  • Attorney Evan F. Nappen stated that the Appellate Division had dropped Tomís appeal. He stated that the transcripts were never received from the Sussex County Court.
11 July 1997
  • NJ Department of Corrections sends certified mail to Thomas A. Cassidy indicating that he had pled guilty to simple assault on 4 Feb 97 and is proceeding with his removal from the Department of Corrections. Thomas A. Cassidy filed an appeal with the NJ Department of Corrections. Obviously, Thomas A. Cassidy had not pled guilty, as he was wrongfully convicted!
15 July 1997
  • Attorney Evan F. Nappen files motion to reinstate appeal of the wrongful simple assault conviction.
  • Attorney Evan F. Nappen writes letter to Sussex County Court Clerk Bee Hammett assuming that check for simple assault trial transcripts was lost in the mail!
24 July 1997
  • Thomas A. Cassidy received certified mail from the NJ Department of Corrections to attend disciplinary hearing on 25 Jul 97.
  • Evan F. Nappen said he had to send another check to the Sussex County court because the court said the check was in the wrong name.
  • Sussex County DVAC sent letter indicating that Thomas A. Cassidy still owed $95.00 in fees.
14 August 1997
  • NJ Appellate Division issues Order Reinstating Appeal.
11 September 1997
  • Attorney Evan F. Nappen files Constitutional challenge on New Jersey Assault Weapons Law.
19 September 1997
  • Thomas A. Cassidy attends NJDOC Disciplinary Appeal Hearing at Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility in Annandale, NJ. Acting on behalf of NJDOC, Captain Lowe stated for record that Thomas A. Cassidy had pled guilty to simple assault on 4 Feb 97. Attorney Evan F. Nappen had represented Thomas at this hearing indicating that the wrongful conviction for simple assault is on appeal.
9 October 1997
  • Thomas A. Cassidy is removed from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
20 October 1997
  • Retained a civil service employment attorney to represent Thomas A. Cassidy in all causes of action with NJDOC. In other words, to try to get his job back.
8 December 1997
  • Sussex County Probation Officer S. Brian Banner stated that he would be scheduling Thomas A. Cassidy to appear in court again regarding the previous sentence to DVAC even though this matter had already been stayed by Judge N. Peter Conforti!
24 December 1997
  • Retained law firm of Needleman & Schocket to represent Thomas A. Cassidy in federal civil rights action.
21 January 1998
  • Met with Linda Mainenti-Walsh from Attorney Ethics Committee in Morristown, NJ. to discuss attorney misconduct in Sussex County.
3 February 1998
  • Received a notice of Violation of Probation from the Sussex County Superior Court.
9 March 1998
  • Received message from Needleman & Schocket Attorney Ed Zohn that the federal civil rights complaint had been filed in federal court in Newark, NJ.
27 March 1998
  • Appeared in Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Sussex County with Evan F. Nappen on motion challenging the constitutionality of the New Jersey Assault Weapon Ban.
  • Judge Gerald B. Hanifan, J.S.C. refused to rule on constitutional issues citing pending litigation in Appellate Division. (Tannis case.)
  • Count Five of the indictment dismissed (Springfield M1A Rifle) by Judge Gerald Hanifan based upon State of New Jersey Attorney General opinion.
  • Sussex County Assistant Prosecutor Francis Koch stated he would seek to bring that charge back in front of the Grand Jury for renewal. Such a statement is clearly indicative of malice.
  • Judge Gerald Hanifan orders Sussex County Prosecutorís Office to give specifics to Attorney Nappen on counts 1-4 of the indictment, as it is not clear what crime the Sussex County Prosecutor is charging Thomas A. Cassidy with.
20 May 1998
  • New Jersey Appellate Division reverses wrongful simple assault conviction.
21 May 1998
  • Attorney Evan F. Nappen called to notify us that the wrongful simple assault conviction had been reversed and that the charges against DeGennaro-Holley that Assistant Prosecutor Vincent Connors had inappropriately dismissed were to be reinstated.
2 June 1998
  • Thomas A. Cassidy spoke with Attorney Ed Zohn, who indicated that all of the civil rights suit defendantís had been served. He indicated that there was some confusion within the towns as to which attorneys will be representing whom.
24 June 1998
  • Received Ethics Committee investigative report.
25 June 1998
  • Thomas A. Cassidy responded to report that facts were not correct in Ethics Committee Investigative Report.
3 August 1998
  • Post Conviction Relief in front of Judge N. Peter Conforti. Judge Conforti recuses himself and orders case to be re-tried in Newton Municipal Court.
  • DeGennaro-Holley Attorney Peter Laemers states that he is conflicted and recuses himself.
16 September 1998
  • Judge N. Peter Conforti orders simple assault complaints remanded to Newton Municipal Court & recuses himself.
10 October 1998
  • Received Order from Newton Municipal Court transferring simple assault reversal case to Byram Municipal Court.
22 October 1998
  • Received Order from Newton Municipal Court transferring simple assault matter to Sparta Municipal Court for hearing on 12 Nov 98 citing a conflict in Byram.
29 October 1998
  • Attorney Gary Needleman called Thomas A. Cassidy requesting that he voluntarily dismiss the civil rights complaint to avoid sanctions being imposed by the Federal Courts for frivolous litigation. Says Federal Court will rely on Judge Gerald B. Hanifan, J.S.C. Motion to Suppress Hearing.
10 November 1998
  • DeGennaro-Holley met with her new attorney, Richard Pompelio, and Sparta Prosecutor Andy Frazier. It was indicated that DeGennaro was willing to dismiss all complaints. Sparta Municipal Court Prosecutor Andy Frazier stated that he had never seen a case in which they were "out to get" the defendant as much as in the case of State v. Thomas A. Cassidy.
12 November 1998
  • After receiving numerous threats, Thomas A. Cassidy acquiesced and unwillingly dismissed federal civil rights complaint.
2 June 1999
  • Received notice to appear in Newton Municipal Court on 16 Jun 99 regarding simple assault case.
4 June 1999
  • Received letter from Town of Newton directing Thomas A. Cassidy to now appear in Hardyston Municipal Court at 6:30 p.m. on simple assault charges.
16 June 1999
  • Appeared in Hardyston Municipal Court at 1830 hrs. Met with attorney Greg Muller. DeGennaro and husband were present with attorney Pompelio. Mr. Muller indicated that at this point nothing would take place (either a dismissal or a trial date) because the municipal prosecutor needs to speak with Detective Virga who is objecting to a dismissal of charges against Thomas A. Cassidy. A new court date was to have been scheduled for 29 Sep 99.
28 June 1999
  • Thomas A. Cassidy is informed that Hardyston Municipal Court Judge Richard Honig had improperly read over previous simple assault trial transcripts and must therefore be disqualified from hearing case. Hardyston Municipal Court Judge Honig had also stated that he wanted to see that Thomas A. Cassidy "gets some jail time".
28 September 1999
  • Received telephone call from Holly of Attorney James Maynard's office stating that Hardyston Court Hearing is adjourned until further notice. She stated that all proceedings would be consolidated in Sussex County Court.
4 November 1999
  • Informed that the Sussex County Court's are now seeking to consolidate all of the pending charges against Thomas A. Cassidy to be adjudicated jointly.
8 November 1999
  • 9 a.m. court appearance on firearms. Now to be consolidated with simple assault case. Assistant Prosecutor Francis Koch appeared for State.
  • Sussex County Superior Court Judge Loraine Parker now presides.
30 November 1999
  • Notified that 6 Dec 99 status conference is adjourned until January 24, 2000.
14 February 2000
  • Appeared in court in front of Judge Parker. Tom required to sign form rejecting a recommendation of PTI enrollment. 29 1/2 years of incarceration is threatened. Next appearance scheduled March 13 & 17 2000. Evan noted on record that there are still constitutional issues pending.
3 March 2000
  • Sussex County Justice website debuts online.
20 March 2000
  • Appeared in court for status conference in front of Honorable Judge Lorraine C. Parker.
29 March 2000
  • State now dismisses "cover charges" that were filed against Tom by Newton Police Detective Anthony Virga. Do you think his exposure at helped to facilitate this dramatic reversal? Note the sudden change of heart after 4 years of misconduct!
  • Honorable Judge Lorraine C. Parker denies remainder of constitutional arguments on guns by relying on federal case Coalition of New Jersey Sportsmen, et. al. v. Christine Todd Whitman which was decided adversely against law abiding New Jersey firearm owners and is currently on appeal. Similar unconstitutional statutes had been drafted throughout the country and were declared unconstitutional. Indeed, the State of New Jersey chooses to criminally prosecute Tom and other law abiding citizens who may be the "object of official displeasure", while United States citizens (outside NJ borders) enjoy freedom from malicious prosecution!
19 June 2000 14 July 2000 16 August 2000
  • Thomas Cassidy sends certified mail to Sussex County Probation Department and Domestic Violence Assessment Center of Sussex County (DVAC) requesting the return of fines and fees that had been wrongfully assessed more than 3 years ago! To date, neither of these entities have responded to this inquiry.
16 October 2000
  • Judge Lorraine C. Parker, J.S.C. denies motion to have Cassidy case stayed pending the adjudication of Coalition of New Jersey Sportsmen, et. al. v. Christine Todd Whitman, et. al., which raises similar issues in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
3 January 2001
  • Judge Lorraine C. Parker, J.S.C. denies motion for change of venue. This motion was brought due to 5 years of systemic corruption in Sussex County and due to the fact that Tom had worked for the Sussex County Prosecutor as a Prosecutor's Agent.
4 January 2001
  • Judge Lorraine C. Parker, J.S.C. expedites proceedings and commences with a trial.
9 January 2001
  • Jurors convict Thomas A. Cassidy of possessing "assault firearms".
23 February 2001
  • After 5 years of malicious prosecution, Thomas A. Cassidy is sentenced to 3 years of probation.
3 November 2003
  • Oral Argument in New Jersey Supreme Court, Trenton, New Jersey.
30 March 2004
  • New Jersey Supreme Court reverses and vacates wrongful convictions in 7-0 unanimous decision.

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