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    With Murphy's pledge to create an Office of Immigrant Protection, advocates are hoping the state will provide legal assistance to low-income detainees facing deportation.

    Amid a growing crackdown on immigration by the Trump Administration over the past year, Gov. Phil Murphy is seeking to provide increased protection for those being targeted.

    Last week, the New Jersey Democrat said he was committed to the creation of a state Office of Immigrant Protection, following the arrests of two Indonesian Christians who were taken into custody in Middlesex County by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Thursday, as the men were dropping their daughters off for school.

    The governor's office would not provide details of the mission of the new office, but said it would be looking to increase the availability of legal representation.

    "The Office of Immigrant Protection will serve as a single point of contact for any New Jersey resident facing detention or deportation, with a focus on expanding access to legal services to these residents," said spokesman Dan Bryan.

    Immigration advocates here have long been pressing the state to provide representation for those in detention, and are hopeful the governor's moves are steering New Jersey in that direction.

    In a letter to Murphy on Monday, more than 50 legal organizations, former immigration judges, law professors, and faith and labor groups urged the establishment of a state program to provide counsel to detained individuals who cannot afford it.

    "Access to counsel is a matter of due process," said Farrin Anello, senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. "The federal government is always represented by counsel in immigration court. When an unrepresented person is forced to argue complex issues of immigration law against a trained government lawyer, this leads to absurd and unfair results."

    In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year announced he would allocate money to create a legal defense fund to ensure all immigrants have access to representation. Several cities across the country have also been putting together programs to provide attorneys to those being held in detention.

    Anello said the aggressive stance by the Trump Administration on detention and deportation "has made the need for representation more urgent than ever. "

    Unlike defendants in criminal court, undocumented immigrants in this country who challenge their deportation have no right to an attorney if they cannot afford one. In a report last year for Seton Hall's Immigrants' Rights and International Human Rights Clinic, law professor Lori Nessel found that nearly 70 percent of those detained in New Jersey in immigration removal proceedings have no representation when they face a judge.

    "The access to counsel is so much less for the population that's detained. They can't work. They have no contacts. Plus we have a real shortage of pro bono counsel," she said, referring to attorneys who volunteer their services.

    Most of those in detention without an attorney ultimately get deported, Nessel added.

    Critics say immigrants here without authorization should not be provided with any assistance. But advocates say immigration law is complicated and deportation is not always warranted, noting that some may have valid asylum claims or legal challenges to a deportation order.

    Susan Roy, a former immigration judge and one of those pushing to make legal aid available, said the lack of representation causes significant delays in the court proceedings. At the same time, she added many who may have a legal basis to avoid deportation have no understanding of how to prepare their applications, or obtain the evidence needed to buttress their case.

    According to the letter sent to Murphy, 7,260 individuals were detained in New Jersey in 2015 for civil immigration violations, and two-thirds fought their deportation without legal counsel. Only 14 percent of detained immigrants in New Jersey were able to avoid deportation without legal representation.

    Nessel and others could not say how much a legal assistance program for detainees would cost, but claim it would save on detention expenses and allow people to work while awaiting a resolution of their cases.

    "There are huge costs when parents are deported and children are left without their parents," she added.

    New Jersey will also join more than a dozen other states in a lawsuit that challenges President Trump over his decision to end a program that allowed undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children to avoid deportation.

    Ted Sherman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL. Facebook: @TedSherman.reporter. Find on Facebook.

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    The number of lanes won't change but drivers who want to use exits 125 or 127 should be in the local lanes

    Motorists who travel the northbound Garden State Parkway in the area of the Driscoll Bridge were met Monday morning by a new traffic pattern for an eight-month construction project.

    Despite signs that have been warning of the shifting lanes for weeks, traffic backed up for more than 5 miles in the local lanes during the morning rush hour, according to, the state's traffic website. 

    The shift is necessary because work to replace the bridges over Chevalier Avenue in Sayreville is entering the next phase, according to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. 

    While the number of lanes won't change north of where the local and express lanes merge, four lanes will be directed to the left and three will go to the right.

    The biggest Turnpike and Parkway projects this year

    Drivers who want to access exits 125 or 127 should stay to the right of the work zone, officials say. Those motorists are advised to use the local rather than the express lanes to avoid having to cut across several lanes of traffic. 

    Over the weekend, workers moved the construction barrier, changed signs and painted new stripes on the Parkway. 

    Earlier Monday, northbound delays backed up to exit 120 in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge and exit 125 due to volume and the revised traffic pattern, according to 

    The new southbound exit 125 opened in July. The project to replace the Chevalier Avenue bridges over the Parkway is slated to wrap up in 2019.

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook.



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    See the biggest girls basketball games in the week ahead.

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    Frank Polera, 31, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and will be sentenced to 28 years in state prison

    An Old Bridge man admitted Monday to killing his 61-year-old mother just days after Thanksgiving in 2016.

    In pleading guilty to aggravated manslaughter, Frank Polera, 31, will be sentenced to 28 years in state prison for killing Patricia Polera at their home on Kirschman Drive in Old Bridge on Nov. 26, 2016, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement.

    Old Bridge police found Patricia Polera dead after they responded to the home shortly before 9 p.m. An autopsy showed that Polera died from asphyxiation by compression, authorities said. 

    Authorities arrested Frank Polera the next day.

    Assistant Middlesex County Prosecutor Scott LaMountain said in a previous court hearing that Frank Polera called the police that night to report his mother had fallen out of bed. LaMountain said when police tried to walk him through CPR over the phone, he appeared more concerned with taking care of the dogs. 

    Frank Polera will be sentenced on March 27.

    He will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.  

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find on Facebook.

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    Average scores among the state's public high schools ranged from a low of 795 to a high of 1,502

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    An Essex man is suing the New Brunswick-based company, alleging asbestos grew inside his baby powder and gave him a deadly cancer

    A Middlesex County courtroom heard the opening statements in a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson Monday morning, alleging that the company's talc products caused an Essex County man to develop cancer.

    Stephen Lanzo, III, 46, of Verona, alleges that his use of Johnson's Baby Powder throughout his life exposed him to asbestos, which lead him to develop mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that affects tissue in the lungs and abdomen.  

    Lanzo, 46, and his wife, Kendra Lanzo are seeking monetary damages after "Lanzo regularly and frequently used and was exposed to asbestos-containing Johnson & Johnson talc powder products," which resulted in his contracting mesothelioma, 2016 court documents said. 

    Lanzo is the second person to allege that the company's talc products have caused a user to develop the cancer mesothelioma. But it's the first case to be tried at the Middlesex County Courthouse, less than a mile from J&J's headquarters in New Brunswick. 

    Last year, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury favored J&J in a similar lawsuit in which a 61-year-old woman said she developed the cancer, also because of her use of the company's baby powder, Reuters reported.

    Several other cases across the country have also accused the pharmaceutical giant's powder products of causing women's ovarian cancer.

    Jury orders Johnson & Johnson to pay $417M in baby powder suit

    NJ Advance Media watched opening statements through an online broadcast by Courtroom View Network Monday, one week after the trial was slated to start. Judge Ana Viscomi had excused jurors for one week to allow for an evidentiary dispute.

    "It's true, we don't know how many Johnson & Johnson users have mesothelioma," Lanzo's lawyer, Moshe Maimon said in opening statements Monday. "And the fact is that the defendants have never studied that."

    Lanzo's suit claims J&J knew its products contained asbestos, but didn't properly warn its consumers. The company, represented by Drinker Biddle & Reath and Kirkland & Ellis, argues that its products never contained asbestos, and that the plaintiffs used faulty test methods to prove otherwise.

    The defendants in the case also include Imerys Talc America and Cyprus Amax Minerals Co.

    After a lunch break, jurors were presented with information about the formation of asbestos and the environments in which it grows.

    The plaintiff and defense said they plan to utilize many expert testimonies throughout the trial, which is slated to run through the end of February. 

    Paige Gross may be reached at pgross@njadvancemedia.comFollow her on Twitter @By_paigegross. Find on Facebook. 

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    The man who died was standing outside the building when the crash occurred. Watch video

    UPDATE: Dad struck, killed by vehicle while putting daughter in car seat outside YMCA

    A man was struck and killed outside the South Amboy YMCA Monday evening in a chain-reaction crash when a driver lost control of his vehicle, hit another car and slammed into the community center, officials said.

    One or both vehicles hit the man, who was thrown into the building, according to South Amboy Mayor Fred Henry, who arrived shortly after the 5 p.m. crash on John T. O'Leary Boulevard.

    Henry said he was told the man may have been a member who was waiting for a ride. The man's name has not been released.

    "It's a steep hill leading down to the Y and my understanding from speaking with police is that the driver's brakes failed," Henry said.

    The mayor said two other men and a girl were hurt in the crash but their conditions were not immediately known.

    A spokesman for the South Amboy Police Department could not be reached Tuesday morning.

    The YMCA closed after the crash but then reopened early Tuesday.

    A woman who answered the phone at the YMCA early Tuesday said no one at the facility was authorized to speak to the media.

    There were no arrests and no charges as of Monday night, the mayor said, adding that the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office is investigating.

    Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find on Facebook.

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    He was hit as he crossed the street in Edison

    A 68-year-old Edison man was struck and killed by a car Sunday night in the Clara Barton section of town, authorities said. 

    The man was hit as he crossed Amboy Avenue near 4th Street shortly before 8 pm., according to Edison police. 

    The driver, a 35-year-old woman from the Fords section of Woodbridge, told police the man wasn't in a crosswalk when he stepped into the street.

    Pair who robbed Edison cell phone store caught in Clifton

    He was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital with head injuries and died several hours later. His identity was withheld pending notification of his family

    Police are still investigating.  

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook.



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    Benjamin Navarrete, 48, of Old Bridge was struck while securing his child in her car seat. Watch video

    A 48-year-old man was struck and killed by a car Monday night as he placed his 6-year-old daughter in a car seat outside the South Amboy YMCA, authorities said Tuesday.

    Benjamin Navarrete, of Old Bridge, was struck about 5 p.m. while standing outside his SUV while securing his child in the car, South Amboy Police Chief Darren Lavigne and Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey said in a statement.

    navarette.jpgBenjamin Navarrete 

    The girl was also hurt in the crash and taken to a local hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening, authorities said.

    The crash occurred about 5 p.m. on John T. O'Leary Boulevard.

    Navarrete was airlifted to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he died at 6:20 p.m., authorities said.

    Authorities said a 53-year-old man driving a Toyota Corolla struck Navarrete and was also injured.

    The driver, who was not charged, was taken to the hospital where he remained in stable condition Tuesday morning. South Amboy Mayor Fred Henry said police believed the brakes in his car may have failed.

    The victim's brother, Mark Navarrete of Brooklyn, N.Y., said the family was notified Monday night.

    "They just said it was an accident and that Ben was dead," Mark Navarrete said, declining to answer further questions.

    Friends and family took to social media to remember Navarrete.

    The crash is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 732-721-0111 or 732-745-4194.

    Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find on Facebook.


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    New Jersey Assemblyman Ronald Dancer is sponsoring a measure that would allow churches, synagogues and mosques to select what he calls a "qualified person" to bring a concealed handgun into services.

    A Republican assemblyman believes you'll feel safer if the worshiper in the next pew is carrying a concealed weapon.

    Ronald Dancer is sponsoring a measure that would allow churches, synagogues and mosques to select what he calls a "qualified person" to bring a concealed handgun into services.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    The lawmaker, whose district covers parts of Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties, points out, correctly, that places of worship are a terrorist target.

    But he's way off base in his proposed solution.

    Lawmaker says someone with a gun should protect N.J. churches

    Dancer introduced his bill following two mass shootings at U.S. churches in the past three years: the killing of 26 people by a gunman at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last November, and the slaughter of nine congregants at a black church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015.

    State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) had a classic response to the misguided proposal: "Oh my god, you're kidding me."

    With all due respect to the NRA's Wayne "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" LaPierre, introducing guns into our state's (or any state's) sacred places does not decrease the threat of bloodshed. It multiplies it.

    Evidence is growing that adding more firepower to an active shooting scene, with all its attendant confusion and mass hysteria, only increases the odds of innocent people being killed in a hail of bullets.

    In the Texas tragedy, for example, more than 40 people were shot before an armed neighbor intervened.

    The good news is that Assembly Bill 1695 is not likely to go very far in a Legislature controlled by Democrats. And even if it did buck the odds and pass, Gov. Phil Murphy is certainly not inclined to sign the measure after calling for stricter gun safety laws in the state.

    The truth is, New Jersey has much to be proud of when it comes to standing up to the all-powerful gun lobby, harking back to the administration of Jim Florio in the early 1990s.

    More recently, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12th District) led our congressional delegation in a fierce campaign against an NRA-sponsored effort to expand an individual's rights to carry a concealed weapon across state lines.

    Dancer's bill was referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee in early January. With any luck, it will die a quiet death there.

    Bookmark Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find Opinion on Facebook.


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    The two men sentenced Tuesday are the last of the 22 conspirators to be punished

    A New Jersey man who owned a Jersey City jewelry store that played a central role in a credit card fraud scheme that stole about $200 million by creating more than 7,000 false identities was sentenced Tuesday to a year in prison.

    Sat Verma, 65, of the Iselin section of Woodbridge, will also be subject to three years of supervised release and was ordered to forfeit $270,000, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement Tuesday. He previously pleaded guilty to access device fraud.

    U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson handed out the sentence in federal court in Trenton. The case is one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever prosecuted by the federal government.

    Fraud complaints still plague state debit card

    Verma was sentenced in the case along with Qaiser Khan, 53, of Valley Stream, New York. They are the last of 22 defendants to be sentenced. Khan got six months in prison, five years of supervised release and a $1,000 fine. Khan earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. 

    The operation spanned 28 states and eight countries and involved three jewelry stores in Jersey City, including Tanishq Jewels, which was owned by Verma.

    Federal agents and Jersey City police raided the stores in April 2011.

    The ring allegedly created around 25,000 fake credit cards by using thousands of false identities and hundreds of fake driver's licenses and other fraudulent materials to open the accounts.

    The ring would then build up the credit rating and borrowing limit of the cardholder by using various fraudulent methods before maxing out the cards and leaving the credit card companies stuck with the unpaid balances.

    The scam artists used more than 1,800 "drop addresses," including houses, apartments and post office boxes as the mailing addresses for the false identities.

    Khan helped get the credit cards and then arranged to have them mailed to those addresses, authorities said. Verma admitted he allowed other members of the ring to conduct sham transactions using credit card terminals set up with alternate business names .

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook.



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    New edition of pound-for-pound wrestler rankings on the way to statewide Top 50.

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    New Jersey was the site of the first true American football game of any kind, anywhere

    In 2014, when Super Bowl XLVIII was held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, the weather could have been an issue. After all, the stadium has no roof and temperatures in New Jersey can be brutal in February. But, the weather was a non-issue; it was a mild 49 degrees in East Rutherford on that Sunday. 

    According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame (, that wasn't the lowest game-time temperature for an outdoor Super Bowl; Super Bowl XLVI - the Giants played in that one - was held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and started at a temperature of 44 degrees. And Super Bowl VI at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans kicked off in balmy 39 degrees.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    The Super Bowl held in New Jersey added to the state's rich tradition in the sport. Of course, football, began in New Jersey with Rutgers and Princeton in 1869; often referred to as "The Birthplace of College Football," the Rutgers-Princeton game in New Brunswick is seen by the Professional Football Researchers Association as the first true American football game of any kind, anywhere.

    New Jersey high school football has an equally lengthy tradition. The Lawrenceville School began an annual tradition of playing the Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., in 1887; Vineland and Millville high schools began their Thanksgiving Day game tradition in 1893.

    And, notwithstanding their names, New Jersey has been home to two professional football teams since the 1970s.

    Here's a gallery of vintage football teams, players and venues from all around New Jersey. And here are links to other galleries you might enjoy.

    Vintage photos of fun and games in N.J.

    Vintage photos of amusement parks, circuses and fairs in N.J.

    Vintage photos of N.J. Americana

    Greg Hatala may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

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    Clint has been in a shelter for more than a year.


    WOODBRIDGE -- Clint is a 3-year-old male cat in the care of Angel Paws Rescue.

    He has been at the rescue group's shelter for more than a year and needs a permanent home.

    Volunteers say Clint "loves playing with other cats at the shelter." He is FIV/FeLV negative, microchipped, neutered and up-to-date on shots.

    For more information on Clint, call 732-340-1199, email or visit the Pet Adoption Center at 490 Inman Ave. in Colonia. The center is open weeknights from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and weekends from noon to 3 p.m. The shelter is supported by the efforts of Angel Paws Rescue and is currently caring for 45 cats and kittens.

    Shelters interested in placing a pet in the Paw Print adoption column or submitting news should call 973-836-4922 or email

    Greg Hatala may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

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    Flames were reported about 3:20 a.m. at the building on Commerce Street in Perth Amboy

    An early morning fire tore through house in Perth Amboy on Friday resulting in a harrowing escape and possible injuries to residents, according to witnesses.

    Flames were reported about 3:20 a.m. at the building on Commerce Street, fire officials said.

    "Praying everyone made out safe after (I heard) a lady yelling out for help," said Cindy Taveras, who posted video of the fire on Facebook.

    "A kid had some burn marks on his hand, his arm and a lady was burned," neighbor Adonys Viloria told

    Perth Amboy Fire Cmdr. John Breyta could not confirm injuries.

    "Everyone is at the scene right now and there will be a statement later in the day," Breyta said.

    The Middlesex County Medical Examiner's office had been called to the scene, reported.

    Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find on Facebook.


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    Key info and a prediction for every sectional bracket

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    NEW BRUNSWICK -- A 1909 photo of the Rutgers University football team playing Haverford College in New Brunswick. MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey College football moved the goalposts off the goal line and to the back of the end zone in 1927. If you would like to share a photo that provides a glimpse of history in your community,...

    NEW BRUNSWICK -- A 1909 photo of the Rutgers University football team playing Haverford College in New Brunswick.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    College football moved the goalposts off the goal line and to the back of the end zone in 1927.

    If you would like to share a photo that provides a glimpse of history in your community, please call 973-836-4922 or send an email to And, check out more glimpses of history in our online galleries on

    Greg Hatala may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

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    Both women also seek damages from the state child welfare agency because it lacked mandatory anti-sexual harassment training programs and policies, according to the complaints.

    Terrified that her boss would not stop making sexually suggestive comments and stalking her, a state child welfare employee asked her supervisor to intervene, according to a lawsuit.

    Instead, Evelyn Nieves-Lalama said her supervisor refused to help and told her to "pray," according to the employee's lawsuit against the state.

    Reinaldo Gibbs, 60, of Matawan, a former manager at the Paterson office for the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, is the target of two sexual harassment lawsuits which are expected to go to trial separately in late February or March, attorneys said. 

    But Nieves-Lalama of Clifton and Latrece Hagans of Paterson also are suing supervisors and other managers they claim did nothing to stop Gibbs predatory behavior, and at times covered it up, the lawsuits filed in state Superior Court in Passaic County said.

    Gibbs' Attorney Cedric Ashley predicted that his client would be exonerated.

    "When these two complaints are fully vetted, they will be deemed meritless," Ashley said. "The facts will bear out neither situation was anything remotely related to discrimination or harassment."

    The state hired Gibbs in 2013 and terminated him in 2015, according to Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Leida Arce said. Ashley declined to disclose the circumstances of Gibbs' dismissal. 

    Gibbs is an adjunct professor in the Social Science Department at Middlesex County College in Edison, a college official confirmed. He previously worked for the New York City Administration for Children's Services, according to his LinkedIn profile page.  He is also an elder at New Brunswick Seventh Day Adventist Church, according to its website.

    Gibbs did not return calls seeking comment and no one answered the door at his house on two occasions.

    Tell us your experiences with sexual harassment in N.J.

    Evelyn Nieves-Lalama, a family service specialist and a state child welfare employee since 1999, has been on unpaid medical leave since 2016 related to her anxiety over the harassment, her attorney Stephen Bosin told NJ Advance Media. 

    "She made repeated requests for help from her supervisor and no action was taken. She was told to pray," Bosin said. "It created more of a sense of dread and helplessness."

    Nieves-LaLama worked with Gibbs from June 2013 to April 2014 when she was forced to take another job in the Paramus office, the complaint said.

    During that time, Gibbs repeatedly touched Nieves-Lalama's face, arms and buttocks, made inappropriate comments, such as "You smell delicious" and "I want you," and fondled his penis outside of his clothes when others were not looking, according to the complaint.

    Nieves-Lalama took her concerns to her direct supervisor, Kim Drayton, who never documented or investigated the complaints, the lawsuit said. Drayton recommended staying away from Gibbs and "to pray." When Nieves-Lalama said she did not feel comfortable around him. Drayton replied: "Pray hard," the lawsuit said.

    Gibbs later allegedly retaliated by accusing Nieves-Lalama of kissing him and touching him. Paul Pintella, the division's Equal Opportunity Office official named in the lawsuit, interviewed her in response to his complaint. She explained how he had inappropriately touched her, and made crude gestures and remarks.

    Shortly after their meeting, she saw Gibbs and Pintella having lunch together -- providing evidence Pintella would not take her concerns seriously, the lawsuit said.

    At about the same time Nieves-Lalama alleged Gibbs was harassing her, Hagans was also a target of Gibbs unwanted attention, according to the lawsuit.

    In August 2013, Gibbs began making sexually suggestive comments and texting photos of his penis and lewd messages. The following month, according to the lawsuit, Gibbs asked for a hug after a private meeting. When she got up to leave the room, he grabbed her breasts, lifted up her skirt and exposed his penis as she tried to fight him off. A janitor entered the room, and she left, the lawsuit said.

    Gibbs "threatened" Hagans "not to mention any of the sexual advances," the complaint said. She was fired on Feb. 10, 2015, the lawsuit said.

    Hagans and Nieves-Lalama also seek damages from the state child welfare agency because it lacked mandatory anti-sexual harassment training programs and policies, according to the complaints.

    The state Attorney General's Office is providing legal representation for the supervisors and managers named in the complaints, but not for Gibbs, who is no longer a state employee, office spokesman Leland Moore said. Moore declined to comment on the cases.

    In court records, the state denied the allegations. In a response to Hagans' lawsuit, the Attorney General's Office noted: "(The) plaintiff unreasonably failed to take advantage of available preventative or corrective opportunities" and the state agency "is not liable for the willful misconduct of their employees." 

    Ashley, Gibbs attorney, noted that Hagans "never made a claim about anything until after she was terminated." 

    Correction: An earlier version of this story said Hagans also sued her supervisors, Kim Drayton and Bertha Carthins, but they were dropped from the case Thursday, according to court records.

    NJ Advance Media researcher Vinessa Erminio contributed to this report.

    Susan K. Livio may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SusanKLivio. Find Politics on Facebook. 


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    The fire began about 3:20 a.m. in a two-family home on Commerce Street in Perth Amboy

    One child and an adult died after a fast-moving fire ripped through a home in Perth Amboy early Friday, authorities said.

    Another 10 people, including three firefighters, were hospitalized. One of the injured jumped from a window, WABC 7 reported. 

    The body of the boy was found hours after the fire began in a two-family home, a fire official said. He was later identified as Rhyan Jumelle. 

    The identity of the adult was still unknown early Friday evening, the city also said in a statement.

    "On behalf of the City of Perth Amboy, we extend our deepest sympathies to the victims of the tragic fire that took place early this morning, where we lost two residents, a 5-year-old boy and an adult," said Mayor Wilda Diaz.

    "I want to thank all of our fire officials and police officers for their response. We ask our community to keep this family in prayer." 

    Flames were reported about 3:20 a.m. at the building on Commerce Street, fire officials said.

    "Praying everyone made out safe after (I heard) a lady yelling out for help," said Cindy Taveras, who posted video of the fire on Facebook.

    A cause for the fire has not been determined. The building will be torn down. 

    Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find on Facebook.


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    Check out where N.J.'s top college wrestlers are ranked nationally

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