By Art Gallagher
The Matwan Mayor and Council demoted Chief James Alston to the rank of Lieutenant at a special meeting this evening. Alston was also suspended without pay for 10 days.
Lt. Jason Gallo was appointed acting commander of the Matawan Police Department. Gallo will continue leading the department when Alston returns to duty.
Alston, the first African-American chief in the borough’s history, has had a controversial career in Matawan since he joined the department in 1972. He sued the borough in the mid 90’s charging retaliation and discrimination after on the part of a former chief and other department personnel after his nephew was denied a position on the force. That matter was settle for $360,000 in 1996.
Alston sued again in 2000 alleging racially motivated bypass for promotion. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2002 and Chief in 2008. In March of 2010 Alston was under administrative review by the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office.