Friday, June 20, 2014

Apparent investigation of Cape May County Sheriff Gary G. Schaffer

Update:  The State Police denied my request because "the record(s) [I] seek is part of a criminal investigation, and is therefore exempt from public access."  See State Police response here.
After hearing rumors that Cape May County Sheriff Gary G. Schaffer had been investigated by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office for various alleged improprieties (it was rumored that the Cape May Prosecutor was conflicted from conducting the alleged investigation), I submitted an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request to the Ocean County Prosecutor for records that would either confirm or dispel these rumors.

The Ocean Prosecutor, however, did not deny that such an investigation took place.  Rather, Assistant Prosecutor O. Nicholas Monaco confirmed that there was such an investigation that had been "taken over by the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) immediately after this office began investigating the matter."  (What is confusing about Monaco's letter is that he refers to an investigation related to the "former Cape May County Sheriff" even though Schaffer is presently the Sheriff with a term to expire on December 31, 2014.)

My OPRA request and Monaco's response are on-line here.  I have made a subsequent request to the New Jersey State Police for more information.  I have also written to Sheriff Schaffer and asked him to comment on this issue.  I will report any responses I receive from either the State Police or Sheriff Schaeffer.