After school shooting, Public Safety Director James Shea partied at bar with Sgt. Corso (on off-duty shift)
A few hours after a shooting at Dickinson High School, Public Safety Director James Shea was partying at a bar with the Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association – including an hour when 1st VP Sgt. Vincent Corso was supposed to be working an off-duty shift.
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On December 8, 2015, a few hours after a shooting outside Dickinson High School which resulted in an 18-year-old student suffering a non life-threatening wound, and while another shooting was happening on the West Side, Public Safety Director James Shea was partying at a downtown bar with the Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association (JCPSOA) – including 1st VP Vincent Corso when he was supposedly working an off-duty supervisor job.
According to documents obtained via an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request, Corso worked a regular shift from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., as well as an 8-hour off-duty supervisor shift that day – from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., upon information and belief.
No pay vouchers were produced for December 8, 2015 via OPRA, but other vouchers returned from the city show 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. being an off-duty shift he would work – including on December 9, 2015.
In a lawsuit that his since been dropped, ex-Chief Robert “Bubba” Cowan alleged that Shea, as well as Mayor Steven Fulop, conspired to cover-up a DUI incident in Robbinsville, NJ involving Corso and other JCPSOA officials to maintain Fulop’s political relationship with the police union.
Corso’s problems with alcohol are not limited to the Robbinsville incident though, including being caught on camera drinking in uniform on an off-duty job in the mid-2000s. As well, in the year 2000, four hours before he shot and killed 15-year-old Michael Anglin, Corso admitted he was in a bar, but claimed he only had a soda.
Real Jersey City attempted to film Corso after he exited the bar for his off-duty shift, but his out-of-control driving made it nearly impossible to drive and film at the same time. Shea had not yet left the party when Corso drove off.
(NOTE: Corso was in plain clothes, in his personal vehicle, when signing sheets for officers working off-duty in the Route 139 area.)
More recently, Shea allegedly stopped an internal affairs investigation into Corso for sleeping on duty in his patrol car, in Lincoln Park West, on August 24, 2015.
Of note, Corso is running for President of Jersey City F.O.P. Lodge #4, and in a letter urging members to vote for him and his running mates claimed “we know the game.”
According to city ordinance, superior officers are paid at a rate of $10.00 per hour higher than the highest paid off-duty police officer under their immediate supervision in a given off-duty assignment. At a November 2015 Jersey City Council meeting, the administrative fee charged to contractors was raised by 50% – from $8.00 to $12.00 per hour – to help cover costs for administrators and supervisors.
Shea himself is responsible for the JCPD off-duty jobs program.
Jersey City spokesperson Jennifer Morrill, who attended the event, declined to comment on whether she saw Corso drinking alcohol or intoxicated.
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office has declined to meet with Real Jersey City regarding the JCPSOA party and other misconduct stories regarding other officials from the union.