Update: August 14, 2010

Internal Affairs Complaint dismissed against Garwood Police Chief

As previously reported, I filed an Internal Affairs complaint on May 12, 2010 against Garwood Police Chief William Legg for submitting a false certification in a civil case that misled a Superior Court Judge.

By letter dated July 30, 2010, Union County Prosecutor’s Office’s Chief of Detectives Robert T. Buccino informed me that my complaint was “determined to be unfounded” and was dismissed. A copy of my complaint and the dismissal letter is on-line here.

According to the Attorney General’s Internal Affairs Policy & Procedures, Revised November 2000, a complaint is considered “unfounded” if the investigation determines that “the alleged incident did not occur.”

During an April 30, 2010 hearing before the Hon. Kathryn A. Brock in the Union County Superior Court, I became aware that a certification filed by Garwood Borough Police Chief William Legg was at odds with the facts.

By way of background, I am suing Garwood for access to video surveillance of former Garwood police officer Gennaro Mirabella trespassing in the Borough’s offices. Legg, in order to bolster Garwood’s claim that disclosing the video would jeopardize security at the Borough offices, submitted a written certification to the court stating that the Borough’s safe was depicted in the video. After the judge and two lawyers viewed the video in a back room, it was publicly disclosed that the safe was NOT depicted in the video. Thus, it appears that Chief Legg made a false statement that misled me and the court. (For more background on the hearing see my blog entry here.)

I believe that people, especially government officials, must tell the truth in the court filings. Accordingly, on May 12, 2010, I filed a complaint against Chief Legg with the Garwood Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit. A copy of that complaint is on-line here.

On Monday, June 28, 2010, I was contacted by Detective Sergeant Edward Koenig of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, and at his request, I appeared at his office in Elizabeth on Thursday, July 1, 2010 to give a formal, sworn statement regarding this matter. Sergeant Koenig explained that the Union County Prosecutor’s Office is handling my complaint because it would not be appropriate for Garwood’s Internal Affairs Officer, who is Legg’s subordinate, to investigate the matter.

Sergeant Koenig said that he will release his final report on the mater in 30 to 45 days. Upon receipt, I will post it on-line and direct readers’ attention to it.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]