A day after Planet Princeton broke the story that several Princeton police officers have filed a lawsuit against former Princeton police chief David Dudeck for harassment and discrimination, the Hun School has suspended Dudeck pending the outcome of the case.
“Recent media reports have brought to light new allegations regarding Dave Dudeck’s conduct as Princeton Police Chief. In the best interests of our students, pending the resolution of these allegations, Mr. Dudeck has been placed on administrative leave from his position as head football coach, effective immediately,” Hun Headmaster Jonathan Brougham said in a written statement.
“The Hun School is first and foremost a kind and tolerant community of people. We require that our professional staff demonstrate respect toward others at all times and serve as the best possible role models for our students,” Brougham said. “While we are not in a position to assess or comment upon third party allegations or litigation, the nature of the recent accusations against Mr. Dudeck are of great concern.”
Seven Princeton police officers filed a lawsuit against the town of Princeton, the Princeton Police Department, and former police chief David Dudeck on Aug. 28, claiming that from 2008 until he went on a forced leave of absence this spring, Dudeck allegedly engaged in a continuing pattern of gender discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, disability discrimination and sexual harassment that was abusive and created a hostile work environment.
Officers Sharon Papp, Carol Raymond, Steven Riccitello, Daniel Chitren, Christopher Donnelly, Michael Bender, and Christopher Quaste are the plaintiffs in the joint lawsuit filed in Mercer County Superior Court on Aug. 28. The officers want a trial by jury and are seeking compensation from the town for emotional distress, pain and suffering, lost promotions, employment, wages, benefits, punitive damages and attorney fees.
Papp and Raymond are lesbians. According to the lawsuit, Dudeck allegedly called them and other women “dykes” and repeatedly used the phrase “put his/their finger in the dyke” when referring to their work for the police department.
The lawsuit details about 40 incidents where Dudeck allegedly used crude sexual language, made crude gestures, talked about officers’ genitals or asked them about their sex lives or sexuality.
The officers also claim town officials aided and abetted Dudeck by negligently hiring him as chief despite allegedly knowing about his discriminatory conduct, that officials failed to discipline him for that conduct, colluded with Dudeck to hide his discriminatory conduct, and allegedly improperly monitored the officers’ conduct after he went on forced leave by using other officers as informants.
Four months ago, the Princeton Council and Dudeck entered into a separation agreement that would allow him to retire at the end of this month in exchange for all the charges against him being dropped. In early August Dudeck filed his paperwork with the state to retire. He officially retired on Sept. 1, a month earlier than originally planned.