A Hudson County judge has denied prosecutors’ attempts to get an Essex County Sheriff’s officer fired after he was convicted of harassment.
The defendant was accused of threatening a female victim while driving her home from a West Orange NJ nightclub in 2012. The victim also said that the defendant refused to let her out of the vehicle.
The case was transferred from Essex County to Hudson County because of the defendant’s position with the Essex County Sheriff’s Department.
The 40-year-old Newark man was ultimately convicted of disorderly persons offense harassment. However, he was acquitted of the more serious offenses of official misconduct, criminal restraint, and terroristic threats. The jury deadlocked on a criminal coercion charge.
Prosecutors later argued that the defendant should forfeit his job because the harassment conviction undermined his position of trust as a public official.
The judge, however, did not agree with prosecutors. The judge denied the state’s motion because the defendant did not use his position as a sheriff’s officer to harass the victim. The judge specifically noted that the harassment was not directly related to the defendant’s job performance. As a result, the defendant will not be required to forfeit his public employment.
Despite the judge’s ruling, the defendant remains suspended from his job.
For more information, check out the NJ.com article entitled “Judge Declines to Strip Essex Sheriff’s Officer of Job over Harassment Conviction.”