UPDATE 4:40 p.m. 11/19: Officer Joseph DiBuonaventura's suspension took effect on Oct. 22, Washington Township Police Capt. Richard Leonard told Patch by email Monday afternoon at 4:30.
The suspension was handed down the same day a municipal court judge ruled there was probable cause on 13 of 27 complaints Assemblyman Paul Moriarty filed against the veteran police officer in connection with the legislator's July 31 arrest.
A so-called Loudermill hearing has been held to determine whether DiBuonaventura will remain suspended with pay or be taken off the Washington Township payroll during his suspension, Leonard said. The hearing results are pending.
The Washington Township police officer who arrested Assemblyman Paul Moriarty on the charge of driving while intoxicated on July 31 has been suspended with pay, according to a report by South Jersey Times that appears on NJ.com.
Officer Joseph DiBuonaventura was processed on Friday, Nov. 9, at the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office facility in Woodbury on 13 complaints Moriarty (D-4) brought against him in mid-October, Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Bernie Weisenfeld confirmed on Monday.
Washington Township Police Department has suspended DiBuonaventura and required him to turn in his badge and all police department equipment, according to South Jersey Times (formerly Gloucester County Times).
Washington Township Police Capt. Richard Leonard did not immediately return phone and email messages Patch left Monday afternoon seeking comment on the suspension.
Moriarty, a former mayor of Washington Township, has accused DiBuonaventura of an "abuse of power," and invited media to view video footage of his arrest at his attorney's office on Oct. 19. Gloucester Township Patch was not invited to that press conference.
Moriarty filed a total of 27 complaints against DiBuonaventura in connection with his July 31 arrest in the parking lot to a fast-food restaurant on Black Horse Pike, in Washington Township's Turnersville section. The legislator refused to submit to blood-alcohol content testing at the police station following his arrest.
"What happened to me a few months ago shouldn't happen to anyone. There was no legal reason to even stop my car," Moriarty said in a statement issued to the Times when he filed the complaints. "This officer crossed the line."
Judge John Casarow reviewed the complaints for determination of probable cause to issue and in late October issued 13 of 27 complaints against DiBuonaventura.
The complaints allege DiBuonaventura, who previously was fired but later was re-hired as a Washington Township police officer, committed perjury and official misconduct, filed false police reports, and falsified and tampered with public records.
Moriarty's DWI case and the complaints the Democratic legislator brought against DiBuonaventura are being reviewed by Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office.
Gloucester Township Patch's parent company, Patch Media Corp., filed a lawsuit in state Superior Court in September seeking access to police dashboard camera footage of DiBuonaventura's traffic stop of Moriarty. The township had denied Patch's request under the state's Open Public Records Act to release the video.
A hearing on the lawsuit has been rescheduled by the court from Nov. 30, to Dec. 14 before Assignment Judge Georgia M. Curio in state Superior Court in Bridgeton.