Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lakewood agrees to withdraw disciplinary complaint against cop in exchange for cop's resignation. Cop's "drug use" will be reported to the State.

Robert Lawson,
Lakewood Chief of Police
In a December 17, 2014 "Confidential Agreement," the Township of Lakewood (Ocean County) agreed withdraw a Preliminary Notice of Disciplinary Action filed against a police officer on June 16, 2014 in exchange for that officer's resignation.  While the basis for the disciplinary charge is not specified, the agreement requires the Lakewood Police Department to "report [the officer's] resignation and drug use to the New Jersey Drug Registry."  This suggests that the officer's disciplinary charge was related to his possession or use of illegal drugs.

The agreement, which is on-line here, identifies the officer as Matthew Moore.  According to Lakewood, Moore was hired on August 15, 2005 and served until his June 20, 2014 resignation.  Moore agreed to "be permanently barred from holding any law enforcement position within the State of New Jersey," but Lakewood agreed to inform any future potential employers only of "Moore's date of employment, salary and position."

Assuming that Moore would have been criminally charged for his presumed drug offense, I submitted an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request for a copy of the criminal complaint against him.  The Labor Attorney, through the Township Clerk, responded that "there have been no criminal charges at any time against" Moore.

Moore is listed on Gannett's DataUniverse as "Matthew T. Moore" and is shown to have earned $107,776 in 2013.