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AG: Oaklyn Woman Faked State Job for Free Generator Post-Sandy

Marcella Friedman lied about her job and demanded free goods from roadside vendors in Burlington County after Superstorm Sandy, state officials charge.

State employee and Oaklyn resident Marcella Friedman allegedly posed as an inspector and coerced roadside vendors into giving her a free generator in the days after Superstorm Sandy.

Friedman, 49, told two roadside vendors set up in Springfield, Burlington County, that she was a state inspector capable of shutting down their sale of generators and fining them, according to Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa. The encounter happened on Oct. 31, just after the monster storm hit New Jersey.

Friedman, wearing a jacket with the New Jersey State Police logo and carrying a handheld radio, said she’d overlook the stand if the men gave her a free generator, Chiesa said. The vendors handed over an 8,500-watt generator, which Friedman gave to a relative. The relative reportedly sold the generator to an unknowing third party.

The suspect, who lives in Oaklyn, actually is a state worker, but not an inspector. She is a civilian employee of the state police and works as a communications system technician. She’s currently on disability, as she was during the alleged generator incident.

State records show Friedman was hired in 2001 as a state employee and earned a $58,507 salary in 2010 and $64,606 in 2012. She is based out of Ewing.

“It’s unconscionable that anyone would use their employment with a law enforcement agency or the trappings of that agency to unlawfully obtain a benefit, as alleged here,” Chiesa said. “We will not tolerate this type of misconduct, which has the potential to undermine public trust in law enforcement. The state police swiftly investigated and uncovered this alleged conduct.”

Friedman was charged Tuesday with third-degree theft by deception. If convicted, she faces a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine up to $15,000.

Jeremiah Wright January 15, 2013 at 08:53 PM
"The suspect.......actually is a state worker" /// SHOCKING. "She’s currently on disability" /// EVEN MORE SHOCKING. Is she union too? That would make this a threefer.
Mister Mike January 15, 2013 at 09:55 PM
She can't even plead for some sympathy of "making a mistake due to the problems of being without electricity" as she gave the generator to a relative who then sold it. Hopefully, the State Attorney General's office will go after the full sentence of 3 - 5 years and the full $15,000 fine if this case goes to trial. In my opinion any plead bargain should include prison time of at least 1 year and a fine of at least $5,000. As to her job with the State of NJ she should be fired, but that's not up to the NJ State Attorney General's office as far as I know. If she is fired she most likely would still be entitled to continued disability benefits (we don't know if she is on short term disability , which up to 26 weeks or long term disability if past 26 weeks), for the length of her disability. As to roadside vendors probably selling the generators illegality, any charges against them would be a separate matter and certainly not a defense of Marcella Friedmans actions.
Maryann Campling January 15, 2013 at 10:59 PM
They should throw the book at this b----!
electrichorseman January 16, 2013 at 12:27 AM
She looks very happy. I wonder if she knows that she's going to lose her job.

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