EDISON - An Edison police sergeant is under investigation for allegedly staying home and watching the Super Bowl while on duty.
Neighbor Tom De Rienzo called police and complained that the sergeant's marked patrol car was parked in the driveway with the lights on and the engine running for three hours during Sunday's big game.
Chief Thomas Bryan says Sgt. Andrew Chupela, a 29-year-veteran, is now the subject of an internal affairs investigation.
Edison taxpayers say they expect officers to protect and serve, and want the matter investigated.
Erica Chavez says watching the game is a privilege, for those who aren't being paid to do something else. "I would have loved to watch the Super Bowl, but I was working," she says.
Bryan says all Edison police patrol cars have GPS tracking devices, and Chupela's location will be on record.
Chupela remains on duty while the matter is being investigated, according to Bryan. 'If the allegation of the complaint is sustained, an appropriate measure of discipline will be administered," he says.
Capt. Bruce Polkowitz, the president of the Edison Superior Officer's Association, who represents Sgt. Chupela, says the sergeant has had an exemplary career with the department.
In a statement, Polkowitz said, "Knowing his reputation, I believe there is a reasonable reason why he was there for a period of time."
Messages left for Chupela and De Rienzo were not answered.
The department has been plagued by reports of in-fighting and bad behavior. Last year, an officer was charged with fire-bombing his supervisor's home.