Police & Fire

Edison Cops Paid for No-Show Jobs says Prosecutor

5d921530ce10d214710d_0af6eee38182520e34cd_best_e49dbf56ba0120b52d0a_Edison_Police.jpg
Edison PD Honors Piscataway ‘Good Samaritan’ who Rescued Woman from Train Tracks Credits: Edison Police Department
5d921530ce10d214710d_0af6eee38182520e34cd_best_e49dbf56ba0120b52d0a_Edison_Police.jpg

EDISON, NJ – Five Edison police officers got paid for working side jobs that they didn’t do, according to the county prosecutor, who announced arrests and charges against the officers today.

The officers, Sergeant Ioannis (John) Mpletsakis, 38, Patrolman Paul Pappas, 43, Patrolman James Panagoulakos, 32, all of Edison Township, Patrolman Gregory Makras, 33, of Cranford, and Sergeant Brian Rossmeyer, 41, of Bedminister were each charged with two counts of second-degree official misconduct and one count of third-degree theft by unlawful taking, said Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey.

Carey said the arrests stem from an active investigation that could yield further accusations.

Sign Up for E-News

He said the probe showed that between November 14, 2016 and May 1 of this year “certain police officers of the Edison Police Department have been getting paid for extra-duty jobs which they were not present for.”

The prosecutor said the extra-duty, "side jobs," are assignments doled out by the police department “in addition to the regular hours which a member of the police department is assigned to work for the town.” He noted that, while on these jobs, which include directing traffic for utility companies and providing security services for businesses and residential communities, the officer retain full police responsibilities.

Although only the officers alleged to have taken the no-show jobs were charged, Carey said a measure of blame lies with the Edison government for having a system that enabled the behavior.

“In Edison, there is no centralized system of assignment for these extra-duty jobs,” said Carey in a statement. “Instead, several different individuals within the department have wide discretion as to who gets the assignments.”

Carey noted the side jobs can be very lucrative for those who get them. He said officers can pull in more than $100,000 per year in addition to their regular base pay and overtime.

“Payment for these side jobs is billed through Edison Township payroll for police services,” said the prosecutor.  He said the money paid out by the township usually includes an administrative fee and an another fee for a police vehicle if one is needed.

"Any police officer who knowingly got paid for an off duty-job they did not do, is guilty of malfeasance,” said Carey. “Edison township officials, however, are responsible for allowing a system of fiscal irresponsibility to exist.  The assignment of extra-duty jobs being handled by multiple individuals with very little oversight, paired with an inadequate system of accounting, has directly resulted in nepotism and corruption." 

The arrests involve some veteran members of the Edison Police Department. According to the prosecutor’s statement, Mpletsakis has been an Edison police officer for 16 years, Pappas for 14 years, Panagoulakos for four years, Makras for seven years and Rossmeyer for 11 years.

The officers are scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in New Brunswick on June 21, according to Carey.

He said the investigation remains active “and is continuing with the possibility of additional arrests.”

People with additional information are being asked to call Edison Police Department Cpt. Kenneth Schreck (732) 248-7453 or Detective Nicholas Chiorello of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-5217.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

East Brunswick Republican Chair Jesal Amin Announces Dhar Khona to Join Council Ticket

June 15, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ- Newly elected Republican Municipal Chairman Jesal Amin announced today that Dharmendra “Dhar” Khona will join the Republican ticket for Township Council in East Brunswick.  Khona will replace Tom Szaro on the ticket, who had to step aside for personal reasons. The remaining candidates on the ticket are Councilwoman Camille Clark and former school board ...

East Brunswick Public Library Hosts “Beginner Coder” Program Series for Adults

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Due to popular demand, East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) is offering “Beginner Coder for Adults,” a program series to teach the basics of computer coding for the internet this July.

Led by guest lecturer Preeti Gupta, the classes focus on teaching basic web technologies including HTML, CSS and JavaScript. After completing this ...

EBPL Open on Summer Sundays

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—Due to an increase in demand of library usage, East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center Drive) is extending Sunday hours throughout July.

The library plans on using the additional hours to host more library programming and provide services to the community, including passports, access to the computer lab and EB Create makerspace, and ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...