Maj. Robert Catullo, the commander of the troop overseeing northern New Jersey, was among those reassigned late Friday, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/IkIyAC), citing three unidentified people with knowledge of the moves. Also moved were Catullo's deputy commander, Capt. Michael Cerisano, and a region commander, Capt. Warren Moore.
It wasn't clear what role, if any, the transferred troopers might have played in the escorts or where they will now be stationed.
State Police Lt. Stephen Jones said 10 commanders were transferred overall Friday in "a re-alignment aimed at the Operations Branch." Jones said the transfers came in light of recent ongoing internal investigations, but did not say how many of the transfers related to the high-speed escorts. He also declined to identify the troopers involved.
Two troopers were suspended without pay last Monday after news reports recounted witnesses who said they saw the caravan of a few dozen high-performance luxury cars speeding down the Garden State Parkway at 100 mph on March 30, escorted by two state police cars. A station commander also was reportedly reassigned Monday.
The 54-year-old Catullo, a 30-year veteran of the force, must retire by year's end because he will reach the state police's mandatory retirement age. The 53-year-old Cerisano has been a trooper for about 27 years while Moore, 51, has been a trooper for about 24 years.
Catullo is one of 16 majors in Fuentes' command staff, according to the state police website. The majors are overseen by four lieutenant colonels who report directly to Fuentes.
Catullo led Totowa-based Troop B, which covers 2,807 square miles and about 5 million people in northern Jersey. The job of commander there is one of the most powerful and coveted jobs within the state police and includes overseeing the Meadowlands Sports Complex.
The troop is also responsible for working closely with the U.S. Secret Service to escort and protect dignitaries, including presidents, cabinet members and military generals, according to the agency's website. _
Get Eyewitness News Delivered