Watch an Edited Brief of the News 12 Report on the Sentencing
ELIZABETH - In addition to representing lawyers, physicians and other licensed professionals, attorneys at Stahl Criminal Defense Lawyers are experienced in representing police officers in criminal, civil and civil service matters.
Former Elizabeth police office Michael Tropeano had been singled out for prosecution, "in an offense that could have been handled administratively," attorney Robert G. Stahl told reporters after his client pleaded guilty to third-degree theft.
Tropeano, who admitted to receiving $720 in pay for 24 hours of security work he did not perform for the city's housing authority, was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,250 and prohibited from holding public employment. He originally faced a possible 5 years in prison and $15,000 in fines if he had been convicted on the two counts in which he had been charged. Stahl represented Tropiano in a negotiated plea to just one count, along with probation.
Former Police Officer Originally
Facing Five Years Sentenced
to Probation, Fine
Tropeano and another Elizabeth police detective were the only two officers to be charged in an investigation into no-show jobs at the city's housing complexes. According one media report, nearly two dozen officers were investigated for being paid for security work they performed after their regular shifts. Another news website said the number of officers who may have had no-show jobs at the housing authority was, "as many as 30."
After the two officers pleased guilty in February, the County Prosecutor's Office spokesman said its criminal investigation was concluded.
"Unfortunately, the prosecutor's office has selectively enforced a very broad criminal statute," Stahl told the media after the plea, adding that Tropeano wanted to fight the charges, but decided to plead guilty for the sake of his family and "to end this most unfortunate charging decision."
The Tropeano Sentencing on NJ.com