Report: NJ trooper stole $7,000 worth of gasoline

New Jersey news from Eyewitness News

June 24, 2012 12:09:40 PM PDT
A veteran New Jersey state police trooper has left the force after admitting he stole more than $7,000 worth of gasoline from state fuel pumps for his personal vehicles, according to a published report.reports the trooper was suspended without pay in March and retired in April. He was not criminally charged.

Citing disciplinary records it obtained, The Star-Ledger of Newark ( reports the trooper was suspended without pay in March and retired in April. He was not criminally charged.

The trooper, a 25-year veteran of the force, stole 3,128 gallons of gas valued at $7,038 from October 2007 to March 2011. He didn't respond to the newspaper's request for comment.

The newspaper said the trooper forfeited accrued personal, holiday and vacation time, which was valued at roughly the same amount of gas that was stolen. He also was barred from holding another law enforcement job in New Jersey and from obtaining a gun permit for retired officers.

The State Police Retirement Board also reduced the trooper's pension from 65 percent of his final salary to 50 percent - citing the thefts - and revoked his medical benefits.

During the board's disciplinary hearing, the trooper said he was a recovering alcoholic but did not always follow his treatment routine during the time the gas thefts occurred. The trooper also said he worked a large amount of overtime but could not overcome his debt, which led to his actions.

Officials would not discuss how the thefts were discovered or whether any reforms have been implemented to bar similar thefts from occurring in the future.

The thefts occurred during a time when the state auditor's office had warned that state police were not doing enough to track gas use by troopers. Officials have since vowed to make changes in how the state monitors fuel fill-ups for its entire fleet.

The state treasury department - which oversees the fuel-monitoring system - is now reviewing contract proposals for a new system that would use real-time reporting of details such as who requested the gas and how much was pumped. However, officials would not say if there is a timetable for awarding a contract. .


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