UNION COUNTY – On March 5, a superior court judge signed an order of expungement, removing from the public record charges filed against a politically-connected former Garwood police officer who resigned to avoid prosecution for alleged crimes reportedly captured on video.
Gennaro Mirabella was charged with criminal mischief after he was caught on a security camera, disabling change machines at a South Avenue laundromat on Aug. 18, 2009, according to a police complaint.
The next day, while on duty, Mirabella used a master key for the municipal building to let himself into the borough clerk’s office, according to another criminal complaint that charged him with one count of criminal trespassing.
Garwood police Capt. Leonard DiStefano wrote that Mirabella went through the chief financial officer’s desk “for no legitimate purpose what-so-ever.”
Both charges were dropped in a deal with the borough that required Mirabella to resign from the police force. The agreement reportedly requires the borough to state that Mirabella was an officer in good standing at the time he resigned.
Mirabella, a 17-year veteran of the police force, is the brother of Union County Freeholder Alexander Mirabella and some believe that he was able to take advantage of that connection to avoid harsher consequences.
Tina Renna, the president of the Union County Watchdog Association, has petitioned Gov. Chris Christie to have the state Attorney General’s Office review the handling of the case.
“A belief that justice was subverted is especially easy to embrace given that Mirabella’s guilt apparently would not have been difficult to prove since both of the offenses mentioned in the complaints were reportedly caught on tape,” Renna wrote.
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