On March 11, 2016, a Bridgeton (Cumberland County) police officer sued the City demanding to be reinstated to his position after a jury found him not guilty of selling steroids to another officer.

In his complaint and summary judgment motion, Officer Robert W. Smith said that the charges were brought against him for “malicious and retaliatory” reasons.  He noted that his arrest came one month after Chief Mark Ott was “red faced and yelling” in anger after learning that Smith had an unnamed Bridgeton City Councilman’s car towed and issued the Councilman a ticket for having an unregistered vehicle.

Smith was charged with the drug offense in January 2012 and was acquitted in January 2016.

Smith also claimed that his main accuser, Officer William Deininger testified at trial that he “admitted that he lied on his application for employment with the Bridgeton Police Department, claiming that he lived in Bridgeton when in fact he lived in Hammonton.”  Smith further alleged that Deininger testified that “Chief Ott told him to do this so that he would comply with the residency requirement necessary for employment.”

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