Capt. Brian Brady of Sparta, state Human Services officer, indicted on string of charges

Friday, 17 February 2012 18:24

bradyBrian021712_optFormer Sparta mayor accused of using state car, gas card & police databases for personal purposes

Brian Brady of Sparta, a suspended police captain with the state Human Services police and a former township mayor and councilman, was indicted Friday on charges that he submitted fraudulent time sheets that indicated he was working when, in fact, he was traveling out of state for personal pleasure or business, or gambling in Atlantic City.

Brady, 50, is also charged with filing fraudulent firearms qualification certificates, misusing police databases for personal purposes, and using a state vehicle, state gas card and state-issued E-Z Pass on the personal trips.

State Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said Brady is charged in a nine-count state grand jury indictment with three counts of official misconduct, one count of pattern of official misconduct, one count of theft by deception, two counts of tampering with public records or information, and two counts of computer theft. If convicted, he would face a sentence of five to 10 years in prison on each official misconduct charge, including five years without possibility of parole, and a consecutive sentence on the pattern of official misconduct charge.

The charges stem from an investigation by the state Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau and state Department of Human Services.

Brady is the third highest ranking officer in the Human Services police, reporting to the chief and the director. The Human Services police provide services at state developmental centers and psychiatric hospitals. They are also assigned to protect offices and case workers for the state Division of Youth and Family Services. DHS immediately suspended Brady when he was charged by complaint in the case in May.

“It is deeply troubling that a police supervisor, who has a sworn duty to uphold the law, is instead charged in this indictment with violating the public’s trust through multiple criminal acts of dishonesty and theft or abuse of police resources,” Chiesa said. “By aggressively prosecuting official misconduct, we will deliver a loud and clear message that nobody is above the law.”

“This captain allegedly falsified timesheets in order to collect pay as if on duty for days when he was away on vacation or traveling for personal business,” Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor said. “On top of that, he allegedly used a police vehicle and state-funded gas for those personal trips. We will not tolerate that type of abuse of public office.”

In connection with the first count of official misconduct, it is alleged between March 2007 and October 2010, Brady took blocks of personal time without submitting documentation for the appropriate leave time. Instead, Brady, whose annual salary is $101,000, allegedly submitted false time sheets indicating he had worked on days when he was away on personal trips, including ski trips to Vermont, trips to New York for his personal consulting business, and visits to Atlantic City and Delaware to gamble.

On some of these personal trips, including travel outside of the state, Brady allegedly used a state vehicle and a state-issued E-Z Pass, and purchased gas using a state gas card.

Brady was the officer for the Human Services Police who submitted required certifications each year to the Attorney General’s Office on force members’ firearms qualifications. The second count of official misconduct charges that Brady submitted four annual certifications for the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 that falsely stated he had completed required activities at a firing range to re-qualify in use of his service firearm, when he had not completed the requirements.

In connection with the third count of official misconduct, it is alleged that Brady directed a subordinate employee of the Human Services police to conduct background checks on members of a minor league baseball team using a restricted police database. It is further alleged that he directed subordinate officers to use the police database to run background checks on a home health care worker he was considering hiring and a vehicle he wanted to buy. The police database is to be used for criminal justice purposes and not for personal purposes.

Brady is charged with third-degree theft by deception for allegedly falsifying the timesheets and using the state vehicle, EZ-Pass and gas card for personal purposes. The two counts of third-degree tampering with public records or information address his alleged falsification of the timesheets and the firearms certifications. The computer theft counts relate to his alleged unauthorized use of the police database for personal purposes.

The case was presented to the grand jury by Deputy Attorney General Mark J. Ondris and Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Vazquez. The investigation was conducted and coordinated by Det. Lee Bailey, Ondris, Vazquez, DAG Nicole Rizzolo, and Supervising DAG Christine Hoffman,chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000. Each of the second-degree charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison without parole under New Jersey’s statutory sentencing enhancements for public corruption. The mandatory minimum sentence applies to certain listed offenses occurring on or after April 14, 2007 that involve or touch upon the defendant’s public office. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

The indictment was handed up to state Superior Court Judge Linda R. Feinberg in Trenton, who assigned the case to Mercer County.