NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The chief of the Perth Amboy Police Department was charged today with using a department mechanic to repair personal vehicles while the mechanic was supposed to be fixing police vehicles for the city in an announcement by Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.

Benjamin Ruiz, 53, of Perth Amboy was charged with one count of theft of services for authorizing the repairs on various occasions between December 8, 2013, and July 29, 2014.

Ruiz was released in his own recognizance after he surrendered at the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department in New Brunswick.

Sign Up for E-News

He was charged after an investigation by Sgt. Michael Daniewicz of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that the chief had the city mechanic make repairs to two of the chief’s personal vehicles, as well as having repairs performed on a vehicle privately owned by a personal acquaintance of the chief.

After being charged, the chief was suspended without pay. 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.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charge against Ruiz is merely an accusation and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.