Rockville Centre Police Commissioner James Vafeades is being sued for $10 million by a member of the police force, who alleges that Vafeades sent him a cardboard penis, then denied him a promotion in retaliation, after the officer reported Vafeades for unapproved moonlighting at a bagel shop in Wantagh.
According to the New York Post, Rockville Centre Police Sgt. John Beatty claims that Vafeades posted a picture of Beatty’s face on a rat’s body inside the precinct after Beatty reported Vafeades’s side job.
In documents filed in Brooklyn federal court, Beatty stated that Vafeades was working as a lieutenant for the department when Beatty spotted him behind the counter at the bagel shop in 2017.
Before he was promoted to head of the department in 2018, Vafeades was questioned about his arrangement with the bagel store, having spent $125,000 for an ownership stake in the business.
In the lawsuit, Beatty accuses the commissioner and the Village of Rockville Centre of whistleblower retaliation and violating his right to engage in protected speech.
Vafeades and village officials declined to comment in response to the ongoing litigation, as did Beatty’s attorney, Wayne J. Schaefer.