NEW BRUNSWICK - A grand jury in Middlesex County indicted the suspended chief of the Perth Amboy Police Department Friday on charges of using department mechanics to repair personal vehicles and then engaged in witness tampering Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced.
Benjamin Ruiz, 53, of Perth Amboy was charged with two counts of second degree official misconduct, and one count each of third degree theft of services and witness tampering.
The four-count indictment was handed up in New Brunswick following a presentation to the grand jury by Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Christine D’Elia.
The grand jury charged that while he was chief, Ruiz ordered the city mechanics to perform work on his motorcycle, his 1964 Mustang and the vehicle of another individual identified as a personal acquaintance of the chief. The repairs were performed on various occasions between December 8, 2013, and July 29, 2014, when the mechanics were supposed to be working on city vehicles.
The grand jury further charged that on January 20, 2015, Ruiz sought to convince a witness to provide false information to police during their investigation.
Ruiz initially was charged during the investigation by Sgt. Michael Daniewicz of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
After being charged on December 16, 2014, the chief was suspended. He began working as a police officer for the city on May 23, 1988, and was appointed chief of police on September 10, 2012.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Daniewicz of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4018.