James Curley has experienced much success in legal matches against Ramapo for nearly two decades.
He’s been on disability leave from the police department with full pay and benefits for most of the past 19 years, winning a court case to stay hired in the late 1980s following his probationary period and thwarting town efforts to fire him or retire him.
Curley’s legal odessey continues Monday when he stands trial in U.S. District Court in White Plains on Monday morning on federal domestic violence related charges his former wife and her associates.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Robinson scheduled opening statements in Curley’s trial for 9:30 a.m. for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Curley’s lawyers, Patrick and Michael Burke.
A grand jury indictment include charges that Curley crossed state lines from New York to New Jersey with the intent to either kill, injure or harass another person and stalk that person and place that person under surveillance.
Curley could face a disciplinary hearing after the criminal trial as town officials and ranking police officials look to fire him from the police department. A criminal conviction means automatic dismissal, though he could always file a lawsuit.
Curley has been held in federal custody since June “as a danger to the community and as a “flight risk” on orders from Robinson. The judge’s no-bail decision came after he viewed a DVD provided by federal prosecutors that showed Curley fleeing New Jersey police officers trying to arrest him, with one officer getting hurt.
New Jersey police arrested Curley on warrants based local domestic-related charges that have since been dismissed. Police found several rifles, ammunition, gun scopes, a ski mask and a bulletproof vest in the car.
The Town Board fired Curley last year after ahearing but a state judge rescinded the decision based on technical errors involving notifying Curley of the hearing. Curley, 43, is suspended without pay, which had risen to $115,174 last year.
The pending disciplinary charges involves issues with his wife and violating department policy. He also faces disciplinary charges from his arrest in New Jersey.
Curley went on disability after he injured his ankle when he fell 8 inches off a plank being used as a temporary walkway from the parking lot to the police station in 1990.
Doctors for him and the town have agreed he developed a nerve injury that could effect his ability to do police work. Curley has claimed he could have returned to work at some point in the 1990s but town officials didn’t want him back.