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Washington Twp. Releases Moriarty DWI Arrest Videos, Documents

Patch receives videos it requested in July from Washington Township Police Department after a successful legal action.

Washington Township last week released to Patch Media Corp. police dashboard-camera videos that include the July 31, 2012, arrest of state Assemblyman Paul Moriarty on drunken-driving charges. 

The Gloucester County municipality also released documents that reveal it was a call from a Washington Township police officer's cousin to the officer's personal cell phone that apparently set in motion the events that led to Moriarty's arrest.

Police documents also show the officer's relative indicated during a follow-up interview conducted nearly two months after Moriarty's arrest that he could not recall telling his cousin the assemblyman appeared to be drunk when he saw him.

Washington Township Police Det. Martin Calvello received information from his cousin, Ernie Calvello, the afternoon of July 31 indicating Moriarty was possibly drunk at the Turnersville Nissan dealership. Ernie Calvello is identified in police reports as a sales manager at the Black Horse Pike auto dealership.

"Ernest Calvello informed me Mr. Moriarty was inside the dealership causing a problem with a salesperson and was possibly under the influence of alcohol," Det. Calvello wrote in his supplementary report of Sept. 18.

Det. Calvello's report notes his cousin called him back a short time later to inform him Moriarty—the Democratic Fourth District assemblyman and former Washington Township mayor—had left the dealership "without further incident."

Det. Lisa Frattali's supplementary report indicates she overheard Calvello's phone conversation and "jokingly" relayed to Officer Joseph DiBuonaventura, whom she says she contacted to discuss another investigation, that she heard her colleague "talking to someone on the phone about Moriarty being drunk at Nissan."

It was DiBuonaventura who pulled over Moriarty's blue 2009 Nissan Murano in the Black Horse Pike Chick-fil-A parking lot on July 31. The officer claims he was "cut off" by Moriarty while traveling in the right lane of northbound Route 42 at approximately 3:53 p.m.

"After a minute or two I went back outside and contacted Ofc. DiBuonaventura again and advised him that I had limited information and only overheard that one thing from Det. Calvello and that I didn't know what was going on," Frattali's report states. "At no time did I instruct Ofc. DiBuonaventura to go to Nissan to investigate anything."

DiBuonaventura apparently took the conversation as instruction to find Moriarty, according to Fratalli's report.

"On 08/07/12 I received a phone call from Ofc. DiBuonaventura asking me to complete a supplemental report regarding our phone conversation of 07/31/12 and that I had sent him up to Nissan to investigate Mr. Moriarty being under the influence," the report states.

According to Det. Timothy Breen's synopsis of his Sept. 20 interview of Ernie Calvello, the Nissan sales manager's repeated response to questions about whether he had told his cousin Moriarty was drunk or had been drinking and about whether his boss had told him Moriarty was drunk or had been drinking was, "not to my recollection."

Det. Calvello's Sept. 18 supplementary report notes he contacted his cousin at DiBuonaventura's request the night of July 31 and was informed that "his superiors (at Turnersville Nissan) informed him and his co-workers not to provide any statements at this time."

DiBuonaventura claims in a supplementary investigation report that Ernie Calvello told him on Aug. 13 that his boss indicated to him that Moriarty was "smashed."

Calvello's boss, John Lasala, had left to take a job at a Nissan dealership in Exton, PA, by mid-August. Lasala told Breen on Sept. 19 "he could not ascertain whether or not Moriarty was intoxicated but repeated that there was alcohol on his breath."

Investigation turns to the arresting officer

On Aug. 15, superior officers told DiBuonaventura to stop investigating the Moriarty case, as he had become the focus of an internal affairs probe.

Moriarty signed 27 complaints against DiBuonaventura on Oct. 16, 2012. A municipal court judge ruled the next week there was probable cause on 13 of those complaints, including allegations of official misconduct and multiple counts of filing false reports, falsifying reports, and false swearing.

"I feel like you're out to get me or something," the assemblyman told DiBuonaventura as he was being put through field sobriety tests in the Chick-fil-A parking lot.

"Why would I be out to get you?" DiBuonaventura responded.

While at the police station being processed, Moriarty told police on at least two occasions that he had used an antiseptic throat spray earlier in the day, according to Cpl. Nick Myers' supplementary investigation report.

"Ofc. DiBuonaventura read the full text of the Implied Consent form to Mr. Moriarty. Mr. Moriarty replied no, indicating that he refused to provide samples of his breath. He again referenced his earlier use of an antiseptic throat spray, expressing concern that it could interfere with the test results," Myers' report, dated July 31, states.

The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office is currently reviewing both the complaints signed by Moriarty against DiBuonavetura, who is suspended without pay, and Moriarty's DWI case.

Moriarty shared a portion of the dashboard camera video with media on Oct. 19 shortly after he and his attorney, John Eastlack Jr., received copies from Washington Township. Gloucester Township Patch was not invited to the press conference at which Moriarty disclosed the video. 

The media outlet initially filed an Open Public Records Act request for video from Moriarty's arrest on July 31, hours after the legislator was taken into police custody in the Black Horse Pike Chick-fil-A parking lot. The township denied the request, prompting Patch to sue for the release of the video and other records sought in the initial OPRA request.

On Dec. 14, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Georgia M. Curio ruled in favor of Patch.

“This is a situation of public concern. The individual who was stopped and is the subject of the dashboard video and the reports is an elected official currently,” said Curio, the assignment judge for the court district covering Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties. “Obviously, the conduct of a public employee, a police officer, is of concern and interest to the public. When we view that against the backdrop of the stated purpose of OPRA and furthering an informed public, clearly the public interest would be served by granting access."

 

Clarification: This article, as originally published on Jan. 3, 2013, indicated Assemblyman Paul Moriarty refused a blood-alcohol content test on July 31 because he had used an antiseptic throat spray earlier in the day. A police report indicates Moriarty referenced his use of the throat spray and expressed concern his use of the spray could "interfere" with the test.

This version of the article has been clarified.

Joe January 03, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Refuse the test and you're guilty period! End of story. That's how it is for everyone else. Why not him? Different issue - As for the cop, he was tipped off by a relative who wants to save his job and the Car Dealer doesn't want any bad publicity.
Kaye January 03, 2013 at 01:28 PM
Doesn't look good for Twp police.
Sybil Evans January 03, 2013 at 02:27 PM
WOW , WOW, was the ex-officer was given citations for all of his traffic violations? At least 3 red light runs, a turn on right without stopping and illegal u turn Speeding, improper lane changes on BHP, as well as improper left turn into the parking lot from the right hand lane. CREEPS like I wonder how many people are going to come forward and sue the Washington Township Police department now that they have a preponderance of evidence that this officer has frames people for crimes they did not commit. From estimates I have seen there are 400 DWI, DUI and other criminal convictions from this officer over the last 5 years, police records don't go back farther then that regarding this officers arrest records. It is clear from the video this officer knew exactly where he was going and why. He was going to wait for Moriarty to pass him from the tip he received from his friends at Nissan, He was going to arrest him as retaliation for how Moriarty supposedly talked to his cousin at the car dealership. If that is not abuse of power there has never been an example of abuse of power. GET THAT SCUMBAG COP OFF THE STREETS. He is a disgrace to the shield. I hope he sues the hell out of Washington Township the cop and the Nissan Dealership for conspiring to frame an Assemblyman over politics. I'm willing to bet when all is said and done we find out that the Nissan Dealer set this whole thing up, as retaliation for permits while Moriarty was still Mayor. Good Job Sean
Andre Bademos January 03, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Nissan should be ashamed of itself. Is this a new car selling threat, once your in the showroom if you don't buy a car they call the cops on you? What an embarrassment to Washington Township that Nissan Dealership is. That salesperson should be fired on the spot for using the dealership to "Tip off" his police officer relative that the state assemblyman was leaving the dealership so he knew where to find him to exact his revenge for being fired over lying on a police report before. This Officer Joseph DiBuonaventura is a two time loser and should be criminally charged by the police department and the county prosecutors office. This type of conduct is unacceptable and if it does go un-addressed by the prosecutors office now that all of this is public, the taxpayers can only wonder why? His crimes are so obvious. We deserve at least a statement from the county prosecutor as to why with so much evidence are they doing nothing to prosecute this embarrassment to the badge. How many people went to jail away from their families, that didn't belong there and the taxpayers are paid about $80,000 a year to incarcerate those innocent people because of this dirty cop.
Andre Bademos January 03, 2013 at 02:54 PM
This story keeps getting more and more mind boggling everyday. At this point the only people that seem to not be able to get over the refusal are the political brain dead. This story is so way beyond the refusal its actually scary how far this cop went and how many people he involved to frame this innocent man. Next time could be you, so get over the refusal because he did do the blood test that goes back 24 hours and showed no traces of alcohol. The blood test supersedes the Breathalyzer anyway.
rob January 03, 2013 at 05:35 PM
he botom line was he legally drunk or not from what i seen he was not
Frank January 03, 2013 at 07:39 PM
Is there an additional video? I do not see where the officer was cut off. The video starts with the cop car directly behind Moriarty's car at a red light with a traffic sign clearly showing both lanes are permitted to go straight over BHP. Was the officer trying to quickly pass Moriarty when the light turned green?
Sean McCullen (Editor) January 03, 2013 at 07:52 PM
There are three videos above. The first (and featured video) shows Officer DiBuonaventura pull up behind Mr. Moriarty's vehicle, pull his vehicle over, administer field sobriety tests, place him under arrest and transport him to the police station. The second is the dashboard-cam video from the back-up officer's car. The third is the dashboard-cam video from Officer DiBuonaventura's police cruiser as it moves toward, catches up to and follows Mr. Moriarty's vehicle, to the point where he moves in for the traffic stop (where video No. 1 begins).
Frank January 03, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Right but I am trying to see how Moriarty cut off the officer as this was the primary reason for the officer gave. Moriarty certainly did not cut him off while traveling north on BHP as the officer was speeding to catch up to him. So, that leaves us a two lane merge with the officer directly behind - but then claims to be cut off?
Big Daddy 1 January 03, 2013 at 10:45 PM
There was no cut off. The only bad driving I saw was the cop and the car in front of the cop on the way to the station (after the arrest). That driver crossed lines to the left and right a few times, then changed lanes without a turn signal. I saw the cop run 2 red lights after making an illegal and unsafe U turn (he was forcing a vehicle onto the shoulder rather than wait 2 seconds for the vehicle to pass). There may have been more infractions.
Sgt. Slaughter January 04, 2013 at 02:58 AM
Are you people a pack of idiots?! He refused a breathalyzer!!! What if me or you did that? Whether or not the officer was tipped or not or if he had it out for him, all this POS had to do was breath, that's it!! I'm so sick of political bungs getting to do whatever they want to do because of who they are and not suffer any consequences because hey, maybe he could get my kid a high paying job with benefits!! I love that finally a officer had the kahonees to do this to a local man of power. You sit here and call the cop corrupt when all moriarty had to do was to a breathalyzer. He didn't, therefore he is guilty just like you and I would be and that's it. NO SPECIAL TREATMENT!!!!
betty l January 04, 2013 at 03:57 AM
wheather he is guilty or not. after watching the video, i almost laughed. the cop seemed like he had some intentions. i thought, it looks like the driver is being "punked" by this cop.( waiting for ashton kutcher to come into view )lol, then i read the article about, nissan, a cousin, overhearing conversations,and so on. seems to me, we have a cop trying to be a big shot, and an assembly man, mad cause he couldn't talk his way out of his situation. just saying
Darren Gladden January 04, 2013 at 05:02 AM
High 5 Sgt ....Right on Target ...yOU mAKE THE laws FOR PEOPLE to follow but you want special TREATMENT should of just BLew a ton of people HAD too "SIR" wHAT MAKES YOU SO SPECIAL that you can just brake the LAW and when you get Caught YOU want to make it an ISSUE ......."REALLY" ...Someone need a tissue. Give me a HUG and did the officer not say I need a Supervissor ........WOW you just had to do it youR own WAY. This song is for u http://youtu.be/6E2hYDIFDIU Does anyone care .......I do
Sybil Evans January 04, 2013 at 02:09 PM
SGT Slaughter says; "I love that finally a officer had the kahonees to do this to a local man of power." Had the kahonees to do what Frame an innocent man? Well what is the end result? Lets see what happens when you illegally use your badge to frame a state assemblyman? Oh yes the officer has 26 criminal charges against him ranging from conspiring to frame a public official to running red lights not stopping for a turn on red. Making illegal u-turn falsifying an arrest report. and so on. 13 of the charges are being prosecuted by the Gloucester County Prosecutors office and he was ordered to stand trial by Gloucester Counties top Judge. In the end the cop will go to jail where he belongs. It is ironic you don't care about what the cop did to frame him, you only care about if he did a test for a stop he was being framed for. I wonder how you would feel if this was you. I see how your little cheerleader D, Gladden feels about running red lights in our town and that is a law too but it does not prevent him from complaining that he got a ticket 3x for breaking the same law. But you all want Moriarty to bend over and take it because he was framed and actually did not break any laws.
Sgt. Slaughter January 04, 2013 at 04:36 PM
If he was innocent he would have taken a breathalyzer and not went as low as saying "I took some breath spray". Gimme a break.
Timmy G January 04, 2013 at 07:26 PM
There is no question that he did not " Cut him off " as he stated. It make you wonder what else about this particular Traffic stop did he lie about.
Chief Wahoo January 05, 2013 at 01:44 AM
2 public employee thugs fighting each other.......well pass the popcorn !
Charles January 05, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Oh gosh! A politician and a police officer have a beef. How can one ever know who is telling the truth? Politicians NEVER lie and cops NEVER have it in for anyone who challenges their authority. What a dilemma!!! Oh wait; the officer is suspended w/o pay--Maybe he should have been an educator. Then he'd be paid and on vacation for months! Smells like a 3 day old fish, doesn't it?
Dan Flury January 05, 2013 at 09:28 PM
I didn't hear where the officer read him his Miranda rights when he arrested him. Don't they do that anymore?
Dan Flury January 06, 2013 at 06:36 AM
Darren Gladden, you really shouldn't comment when you're DUI...just sayin'..
Blackwood resident January 07, 2013 at 05:56 PM
They do NOT have to read Miranda by ruling of the supreme court. It is general practice though, to the prosecutors benefit. It is our responsibility as citizens to know our rights and to invoke them! Otherwise it is assumed you are willing and guilty. "I refuse to answer any questions."
Michael January 07, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Guilty! If I were arrested and refused the BAT, I would be guilty. Moriarity is guilty!
Trike January 11, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Looks like someone else has been drinking. Ha!Ha!Ha! As far as my eyes can see the driver passed the test with flying colors; I rewound just to make sure. In those small townships the one eye man is generally king.
Big Daddy 1 January 11, 2013 at 04:02 AM
Doesn't there have to be a real probable cause to pull him over? If so, then there should have been no test.
Dana Miller February 09, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Disgusting abuse of power that every "regular"citizen of NJ should bear witness to. These are the people we are supposed to trust (police) but they have their own agenda, and the law plays no part in it. It is no wonder that people do not want to help the police, they certainly are not out there investing their time to help the people. Disgusting!!
Dana Miller February 09, 2013 at 05:50 PM
False arrest my friend. If you are already being falsely targeted why would you give this **** more evidence to falsify? I hope this cop does some time, I am damn tired of the abuse of power the NJ cops feel empowered to inflict upon those they are paid to serve.
Paralegal Student June 01, 2013 at 05:47 AM
idots??? I do not drink, however, if I ever were asked to aubmit a breathalyzer (for no reason) I'm refusing. Its my right and I don't have many of those remaining. That makes me guilty?

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