Council Oks Suit Payment $1.3M Settlement in Beating Death

Jersey Journal
February 9, 2001
By Journal Staff

A federal civil rights lawsuit against Jersey City in the fatal 1995 beating of a 22 year-old man by an off duty cop may finally be settled

At a special meeting Wednesday night, the City Council unanimously approved a two part, $1.3 million payment in the suit filled by the family of Julio Tarquino, who died after being hit over the head while handcuffed by former Jersey City Police Officer John Chiusolo at a Kennedy Boulevard gas station.

Chiusolo was convicted in December 1999 of official misconduct, aggravated assault and weapons possession, but a Hudson County jury was hung on the most serious charge of manslaughter. He is presently serving nine years in state prison.

Francesca Tarquino, the victim's mother, filed several lawsuits, including one against Christ Hospital, which returned Tarquino to police custody after examining him and find no skull damage, according to officials, Tarquino later died at the Jersey City Medical Center.

The 1997 civil rights suit against the city is the first on its way to resolution. The council first considered the settlement two weeks ago, but the city's corporation counsel, Sean Connelly pulled it.

"I didn't want to be in a position of having them (the council) approve the number amount without knowing that our insurance commission would approve the number." Connelly said, "It could have looked like we were negotiating in poor faith."

Some council members feared the city was trying to break the settlement into three payments, which could have antagonized the plaintiffs. The money will be paid in two parts, with the first installment of $700,000 required before July 1 and the second any time after that.

Connelly said Francesca Tarquino will receive $1.15 million and the remainder $150,000 will be paid to Tarquino's girlfriend. A U.S. District Court judge must review the settlement before it's official.

"Everything had really been approved. The only link was the City Council's approval," Connelly said.