police officer

New Jersey Mayor Accused of Using Police Sgt. as Chauffeur

Perth Amboy's mayor says she did nothing wrong when she had a highly-paid police officer drive her to a wedding in Brooklyn.

The 2013 wedding was for Rabbi Shabsi Ganzweig, who is a volunteer police chaplain.

The Home News Tribune reports Police Chief Benjamin Ruiz and mayoral Chief of Staff Lissette Martinez were also in the car with Mayor Wilda Diaz.

The internal affairs sergeant who drove makes over $100,000 a year, according to the report. He requested five hours off the following day because of the trip.

"It's a misuse of police power," retired police officer Ken Balut told the paper. Balut is a former councilman and a frequent critic of the Diaz administration. "The mayor, as police director, and the chief of police should know that there is no reason for the two of them to have someone from internal affairs take off to drive them to Brooklyn."

Officers who work for internal affairs are responsible for investigating complaints against fellow officers.

Police Chief Ruiz is off the job right now — suspended without pay. He's under investigation for allegedly using a city mechanic to make repairs on his personal cars.

Diaz says she considers the trip to be city business because she wanted to be there to support the chaplain.

The mayor says it is "uncommon as Christians to get invited to an orthodox Jewish ceremony."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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