Man battles for promised reward in Paterson

October 26, 2010 2:46:32 PM PDT
A man who turned in a cop killer in Paterson is now battling to get the full amount of his promised reward money.

"I get threats. They say watch your back, I'll blow up your house," said Eugene James, a Paterson resident.

Eugene James stepped up, in spite of death threats, to help cops find, and a jury convict, a cop killer.

"I heard it, I heard him say 'they'll never catch me', so I had to tell," James said.

Teddy Charlemagne is now serving a nearly 40-year sentence for murdering Paterson police officer Tyrone Franklin, during a robbery outside a restaurant back in January 2007.

The tip from James helped solved the crime.

James looked forward to collecting the $60,000 reward that was pledged to find Franklin's killer.

Nearly 3 years later, he's hired a lawyer because most of the money remains unpaid.

"Unfortunately, we're at a point where only one-third of the money has been paid," said Charles Damian, James' attorney.

The lawsuit says the City of Paterson paid $15,000, The Police Benevolent Association gave its $5,000, but that leaves $40,000 still owed to James, but the question is, owed by whom?

"There's some confusion over how the money was collected and distributed, so we're trying to figure that out," Damian said.

The suit names several law enforcement agencies, and individuals as defendants.

It's set to go before a judge in December.

James never thought that promises for doing the right thing, would go unfulfilled and leave him in a desperate situation.

"I'm about to lose my house, my car, never thought they'd forget me like this," James said.