Arresting Officer Suspended in Moriarty DWI Case
Joseph DiBuonaventura, the Washington Township police officer who arrested Assemblyman Paul Moriarty for a DWI in July, has been suspended since October 22.
The Washington Township police officer who arrested Assemblyman Paul Moriarty on the charge of driving while intoxicated on July 31 has been suspended with pay since October 22, Police Capt. Richard Leonard told Patch by email.
The suspension was handed down the same day a municipal court judge ruled there was probable cause on 13 of 27 criminal complaints Assemblyman Paul Moriarty filed against the veteran police officer in connection with the legislator's July 31 arrest.
According to a report by South Jersey Times that appears on NJ.com, DiBuonaventura was processed on Friday, Nov. 9, at the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office facility in Woodbury. He was required to turn in his badge and all police department equipment.
A so-called Loudermill hearing has been held to determine whether DiBuonaventura will remain suspended with pay or be taken off the Washington Township payroll during his suspension, Leonard said. The hearing results are pending.
Moriarty, a former mayor of Washington Township, has accused DiBuonaventura of an "abuse of power," and invited media to view video footage of his arrest at his attorney's office on Oct. 19. (Patch was not invited to that press conference.)
Moriarty was arrested July 31 in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant on the Black Horse Pike, in Turnersville. The legislator refused to submit to a breathalyzer test at the police station following his arrest.
"What happened to me a few months ago shouldn't happen to anyone. There was no legal reason to even stop my car," Moriarty said in a statement issued to the Times when he filed the complaints. "This officer crossed the line."
DiBuonaventura, who previously was fired (but later re-hired as a Washington Township police officer) is alleged to have committed perjury and official misconduct, filed false police reports, and falsified and tampered with public records, according to the complaints form Moriarty.
Patch's parent company, Patch Media Corp., filed a lawsuit in state Superior Court in September seeking access to police dashboard camera footage of DiBuonaventura's traffic stop of Moriarty. The township had denied Patch's request under the state's Open Public Records Act to release the video.
A hearing on the lawsuit has been rescheduled by the court from Nov. 30, to Dec. 14 before Assignment Judge Georgia M. Curio in state Superior Court in Bridgeton.