Bradley Beach Council initiates disciplinary process against retired police chief following scathing report

The report issued by the Monmouth County prosecutor found 28 violations of the Bradley Beach Police Department policies over 17 months.

Jim Murdoch

Mar 5, 2024, 3:22 AM

Updated 51 days ago

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The now-retired Bradley Beach police chief may still face disciplinary action following the release of a damaging report from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office last week. An emergency council meeting at Bradley Beach town hall on Sunday night addressed the report.
It comes as News 12 received new videos showing the chief berating an officer last summer during a questionable pedestrian stop.
The emergency council meeting was called following the public release of the prosecutor’s office investigation which cited nine incidents covering 17 months and found 28 violations of the Bradley Beach Police Department policies. The council also raised questions as to why they say the mayor hid this report from them and allowed the chief to retire.
The prosecutor’s office writes extensively about an Aug. 1, 2023 incident. Video from police body cameras shows them stopping a Black man who was walking home to Ocean Grove from the train station after work. The chief ordered the stop.
FULL REPORT
Chief Leonard Guida and the officers he ordered to make the stop are seen confronting the man. During this stop, another officer drives on the scene and notices the chief walking towards him.
Guida reprimands the officer, cursing at him multiple times, suspends him and tells him to go home.
Later that night, the chief unsuspended the officer and the man initially detained was allowed to leave.
According to the prosecutor’s report, the chief’s stop violated the man’s constitutional rights. In addition, Guida’s conduct with the officer violated the Bradley Beach Police Department rules and regulations and a section of the attorney general’s Internal Affairs Policy and Procedures.
News 12 first reported the issues in Bradley Beach last month when bodycam video surfaced showing the chief and a sergeant getting into a heated confrontation following a crash investigation in November. The chief, whom the sergeant alleges was drunk, arrived at the active scene on Main Street in street clothes and suspended the sergeant on-site over an issue with the sergeant’s jacket.
The Bradley Beach council expected the report to address that one incident. But much more surfaced.
Guida was allowed to retire on Friday, six months early. But at Sunday’s emergency meeting, the council passed a resolution, starting the disciplinary process against the chief. Because it is a personnel matter, the council could not publicly say what was said in the executive session.
However, in a statement to News 12, Councilman John Weber said, “It is absolutely unacceptable that the mayor did not share the report from the Monmouth County prosecutor with the rest of the Council. Now that the report has been released publicly, I can only add that it is more horrific than I could have imagined. Mind you, we thought we were getting a redacted report about one incident that happened in November 2023, the DUI accident scene where we all saw the body cam video. But what we got was a report detailing nine incidents covering 17 months that found a total of 28 violations of the Bradley Beach Police policies.”
Weber’s statement continued, “I remind you, the subject of the report was the chief of police for 20 years. For the mayor to hide that report from us is inexcusable. What was he hiding? And for the mayor to actually read this report and conclude it is best to let this person retire? That is inexcusable.”
News 12 was made aware that one of the councilmembers would be filing a complaint with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General to review the findings of the prosecutor and why the mayor did not share this report when he received it back on Jan. 18.
MORE: Resolution made by Bradley Beach Council
News 12 reached out to Bradley Beach Mayor Larry Fox for comment and reaction but as of Monday night did not receive a reply.


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