Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Theft charges against Margate Firefighter are imminent

On November 22, 2014, I blogged about my Open Public Records Act (OPRA) lawsuit against the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office that sought access to records related to a Margate firefighter's alleged misappropriation of approximately $50,000 from the local chapter of the Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA).

In a December 17, 2014 order, Judge Nelson C. Johnson declined to rule on my entitlement to the records but instead gave the prosecutor until March 9, 2015 to wrap up its investigation.  On March 9, 2015, I received a copy of the Atlantic County Law Department's letter to Judge Johnson (on-line here) advising him "that an arrest has not yet been made, but it will be made in a very short time."

I did not publish the letter on my blog lest it might substantially damage a law enforcement objective (e.g. perhaps my blog would alert the suspect and cause him to flee).  So, I informed Assistant Atlantic County Counsel Elizabeth C. D'Ancona that I would publish her letter at 4:30 this afternoon (March 10, 2015) unless she informed me that such publication would jeopardize the prosecutor's case.

At 4:17 today, she sent me an e-mail that stated:
I have just been advised that the defendant was charged with 2nd degree official misconduct and 2nd degree theft. I will be sending Judge Johnson a letter advising him of same shortly.
More information, including the name of the firefighter charged, should soon appear on the Prosecutor's press release site, on-line here.

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