KIYC: Updates on North Bergen police officer who was wrongfully fired, Elizabeth police officers who billed taxpayers for no-show jobs
EDISON - In a prior Kane in Your Corner investigation, North Bergen Police Officer Ben Ortega said he had been wrongfully fired. It started when a captain screamed at him over a street sign that had been knocked down in a storm. When Ortega talked back to the captain, the department ordered him to take a pysch exam and terminated him.
An independent exam found that Ortega was fit for duty and the Civil Service Commission ordered him to be rehired. Ortega says the charges were trumped up so someone else could get a promotion over him.
He has now won his long legal battle and is back on the job.
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Another prior Kane in Your Corner investigation found that some police officers in Elizabeth who were paid to work extra assignments at four senior citizens housing centers turned those assignments into no-show jobs.
Law enforcement sources now say that some of the officers involved are being offered a deal. They can either plead guilty to third-degree theft or stand trial on stiffer misconduct charges. If they take the plea, sources say they will likely do no jail time, and there is a good chance they will keep their pensions. The final decision about the pensions will be up to the State Pension Board to decide.