Mayor Wilda Diaz appointed Captain Larry Cattano as acting deputy chief of police in command of all department operations.
Police Chief Benjamin Ruiz is off duty pending the result of criminal charges alleging that he robbed taxpayers by having city workers perform chores on his private property.
Middlesex Prosecutor Andrew Carey charged Ruiz with theft and suspended him without pay from the $161,000 a year job after he used a police department mechanic to fix vehicles belonging to himself and a friend.
“While we refuse to comment on the criminal charges and refuse to get involved in any political aspects, we, PBA Local 13, look forward to working with acting Deputy Chief Lawrence Cattano in looking for ways to make our department grow and change for the better while we continue to serve the citizens of Perth Amboy with pride and dignity,” said Perth Amboy police Officer Brandon Bucior, president of PBA Local 13.
Diaz swore in Ruiz as Deputy Chief of the Perth Amboy Police Department at an ceremony held at the William C. McGinnis School on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010 .
Ruiz, a member of the of the Perth Amboy Police Department for the past 26 years, joined the department in 1988 and progressively rose to the ranks of Captain in July 2004.
He has been a close political ally of Diaz, offering distractions for crime issues in turbulent campaign seasons and finding himself in hot water for wearing his uniform to Diaz political events.
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