Falsely Accussed State Trooper Wins $250,000 Verdict

ATLANTIC CITY —  An Atlantic County jury today returned a verdict totaling $250,000.00 in favor of New Jersey State Trooper Jaime Ablett after finding that he was the subject of a false accusation of wrongdoing, his attorney announced via press release.

According to to Colin G. Bell, Esquire of the firm Hankin Sandman & Palladino, the facts at trial established that on May 2, 2009, Mr. Ablett left a wedding reception at the 5 Points Inn in Buena Vista Township in a vehicle driven by his wife. Mr. Ablett’s car was
involved in an accident when a vehicle driven by Dana Scarpine lost control, spun out and slammed into the driver’s side door
where Mrs. Ablett was sitting. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ablett suffered injuries as a result of the accident.

According to Bell, the jury found that an acquaintance of Ms. Scarpine’s, Kristen McGee of Vineland, who was working at the 5 Points that evening but did not witness the accident, later falsely claimed that Mr. Ablett was the actual driver of the vehicle and switched seats with his wife after the accident. On May 29, 2009, her father, Dennis McGee of Vineland, called the New Jersey State Police
Office of Professional Standards. During a recorded phone call, he reported that Mr. Ablett was intoxicated, was “flagged” at the
bar due to his high level of intoxication, and that Kristen McGee had actually observed Mr. Ablett switch seats with his wife after
the accident.

As a result, the State Police conducted an internal affairs investigation of Mr. Ablett, according to Bell. After a year long investigation into the incident, the State Police found the accusation “unfounded” and cleared Mr. Ablett of any wrongdoing.
Eyewitness testimony at the trial demonstrated that Mr. Ablett was not intoxicated, was not “flagged,” and did not switch seats after the accident. The jury’s verdict confirmed that Mr. Ablett had proven that the accusations against him were false. The jury further awarded damages of $25,000 against Kristen McGee and $225,000 against Dennis McGee.

“My client was falsely accused of serious wrongdoing that could have resulted in him being fired or even prosecuted criminally,” said Bell. “He has waited four long years to clear his name once and for all and to receive compensation for the damage to his reputation and the anguish he suffered as a result of these false allegations.”

Bell added that while he encourages citizens to cooperate with law enforcement and report any suspected criminal activity to police, he hopes that people will think twice before making false accusations against law enforcement officers. “State troopers and other police officers are held to a higher standard of conduct than an average citizen,” Bell said, “a false allegation can do enormous damage to their careers and reputations.”

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2 comments for “Falsely Accussed State Trooper Wins $250,000 Verdict

  1. Janet Monitzer
    March 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    McGee’s daughter gave false information in order to help her friend who was racing with another friend when her friend slammed into Jaime and his wife’s car. They suffered multiple injuries and were lucky they were not killed and didn’t leave behind their new born and 4 year old. Her false accusations led to a year long investigation which were ultimately deemed unfounded. Dennis McGee should never involved himself in this matter. The jury heard 2 to 3 weeks of testimony from many people on the stand and together with that and the evidence found McGee guilty. This accusation and it’s finding were put into Jaime’s work file which will be with him throughout his career. Now they can put the results of the trial in his file to confirm that these allogations were falses. Things like this could affect his career advancement if not rectified. Jaime is an honorable and dedicated state trooper and family man. I have never seen him even seem buzzed let alone drunk. Her characterization of him the night of the accident are so totally off base and I am glad the jury saw through their lies.

  2. March 13, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I am very saddened to hear this news. Dennis McGee is a good and honorable man whom I know well. He is a retired ACPD detective. He served the community bravely. He is also a veteran. It is difficult to believe that he would knowingly report false information to law enforcement. The damages awarded against him will likely devastate his family financially. I wish him the very best.

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