Federally indicted Atlantic City officer sues to be paid while suspended
The Atlantic City officer federally indicted in an arrest that required hundreds of stitches for the suspect is suing to be paid while he’s suspended awaiting trial.
Sterling Wheaten claims Police Chief Henry White ruled at an Oct. 26, suspension hearing that he would get paid while remaining suspended.
The city “has refused to act on (White’s) determination …, has refused to act on that determination, refused to confirm any hearing result or activation of (Wheaten’s) salary,” the lawsuit filed last week states.
Wheaten became the unwitting poster boy for police brutality when video of the 2013 arrest outside the Tropicana Casino & Resort went viral. Connor Castellani needed more than 200 stitches to close the wounds caused by Wheaten’s K-9 partner.
But a grand jury cleared Wheaten and the other officers involved, and things seemed over for more than five years, the normal statute of limitations in such a case.
Then, Wheaten was arrested Oct. 11, after a federal indictment for violating Castellani’s rights and falsifying records.
The chief relied upon that grand jury decision in making his ruling to keep paying Wheaten, the suit says.
The suit seeks Wheaten be paid, including back pay dating to the Oct. 26 ruling.
If not, it asks that the city be compelled show why the chief’s decision has not been followed.
Barbone and White did not immediately return requests for comment.
No one from the city could be reached Monday morning.