A municipal court judge has ruled there is enough probable cause on 13 of 27 complaints New Jersey Assemblyman Paul Moriarty filed last week against the Washington Township police officer who arrested the legislator on suspicion of driving while intoxicated this summer.
Moriarty filed 27 criminal complaints against Officer Joseph DiBuonaventura last Tuesday. The complaints allege the veteran police officer committed perjury and official misconduct, filed false police reports, and falsified and tampered with public records.
In a letter she sent to Moriarty and his attorney, John Eastlack, on Monday, Vicinage 15 Municipal Division manager Carole Cummings notes that Judge John Casarow reviewed the complaints "for determination of probable cause to issue" and issued 13 of 27 complaints.
The complaints, filed in Washington Township, were forwarded to Casarow, who is municipal court judge for several towns in Cumberland County, to "avoid any appearance of impropriety," Cummings wrote.
The judge determined there is enough probable cause for the following complaints filed by Moriarty to proceed against DiBuonaventura: official misconduct; submitting a false report; false swearing (three counts); false swearing by inconsistent statements; harassment; and falsifying and tampering with public records (six total counts).
The 13 complaints, as well as the DWI charge against Moriarty, have been sent to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office for review. Moriarty was scheduled to make an initial appareance in Bridgeton Municipal Court on Nov. 8.
The 14 dismissed complaints were similar in nature to those Casarow advanced.
Moriarty, a former Washington Township mayor and four-term assemblyman whose district includes Gloucester Township, has denied consuming any alcoholic beverages the day he was arrested on the DWI charge. He has publicly claimed his arrest was a case of an "abuse of power," and invited media to view video footage of his arrest at Eastlack's office last Friday.
The president of the Washington Township police officers union told the Courier-Post on Saturday that police had received a tip that Moriarty was driving after he had been drinking.
“We just don’t park on the pike for no reason,” Joe Micucci told the paper. “We had knowledge that (Moriarty) had been drinking and that he was coming up 42."
Vicinage 15 includes courts in Camden, Cumberand and Gloucester counties.