A 30-year New Jersey county sheriff and current Middlesex County Democratic Party chairman turned himself in to face state criminal charges of bribery and official misconduct, including forcing young police recruits to pay bribes of up to $25,000 as a condition of joining the police force.
This is the latest in a string of cases -- both federal and state -- in which high-ranking New Jersey law enforcement members have been accused of serious criminal misconduct while in public service. Former Essex County Prosecutor Clifford Minor was indicted by the U.S. Attorney's Office (Newark) in 2010 on witness tampering charges, while Hackensack, NJ police chief Ken Zisa was accused last year of participating in an insurance fraud.
If politics don't endanger the liberty of ordinary, innocent, hard-working citizens, it just might be official corruption by the very people who wear the badges and carry weapons.
Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer, strategic analyst and political consultant. Mr. Dixon can be reached for consultation or comment at 917-696-2442 and at edixon@NYBusinessCounsel.com.