Police & Fire

West Orange Police Lieutenant Loses Job and Enters Pretrial Intervention Program

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WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Orange Police Lieutenant Richard Levens, 45, of Randolph, was set to retire in July of 2013.  Instead, on Aug. 30, he was fired from the West Orange Police Department and entered a pretrial intervention program after answering to charges of Third Degree Theft leveled against him by the Essex County Prosecutor's Office on May 23.

Levens was accused of falsifying overtime records in the amount of $2,920.75 over a four-month period from Nov. 28, 2012 - March 19, 2013. The complaint noted that "he had worked certain hours on duty as a West Orange police officer and extra duty jobs ... knowing that he did not work those hours, or that he only worked a portion of the hours.”  After the ECPO filed the charges, Levens was placed on leave without pay May 22 pending the outcome.

Levens was admitted into the pretrial intervention program last week.  In an interview with nj.com, West Orange Police Chief James Abbott said PTI, which is a form of probation, does not require Levens to admit guilt, but state statute requires him to give up his public employment.  Levens will be on probation for two years and cannot ever serve in any elected or appointed offices.

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When any police officer is involved in misconduct, especially when its one of our own, it's sad to me personally and professionally," Abbott said. He spoke well of Levens 24-year career with the West Orange Police Department.

Levens' Attorney, Charles Sciarra, noted, “Rich’s career is a litany of heroic lifesaving acts and exemplary police work. He loved his job. He is paying an enormous price and is moving on with his life.”

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