The Dover NJ police chief has been accused of official misconduct for threatening a subordinate officer during a closed-door meeting.
The officer filed a lawsuit against the town of Dover earlier this year. The lawsuit alleged that the mayor, the police chief, and several other police officers retaliated when the officer voiced complaints about ticket-fixing for traffic violations. The officer had also complained about “stolen time” by other officers.
The lawsuit cites a number of retaliatory acts allegedly taken against the officer. According to the officer, the retaliation included harassing messages on a dry-erase board at the station and an unwarranted transfer out of the department’s detective bureau. The officer also alleged that the police department failed to provide him with necessary backup during traffic stops and arrests, putting his life and the lives of others in jeopardy.
The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office first investigated the allegations. The prosecutor’s office later asked the town of Dover to conduct its own independent investigation.
With respect to the ticket-fixing allegations, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office found that there was insufficient evidence to prove that a criminal action had occurred. However, investigators did find evidence that some tickets had been filed in a manner which suggests they were being buried; the tickets were reportedly sent to a non-existent second courtroom in Dover Municipal Court. The prosecutor’s office called this activity “troubling.”
According to a special, independent prosecutor hired by Dover to investigate the allegations, the chief’s threats against the officer were captured on tape. The attorney, who previously worked as a Morris County first assistant prosecutor, said that the chief directly threatened the officer with physical violence during a meeting on July 8.
As a result of the independent investigation, the town of Dover recently notified the police chief that he would be suspended for a period of 10 days. The chief intends to fight the punishment at a disciplinary hearing. While awaiting the hearing, the chief will remain in charge of daily operations at the Dover Police Department.
To learn more, check out the NJ.com article entitled “Report: Dover Police Chief Was Caught on Tape Threatening Officer, Prosecutor Says.”