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Newark fire department employee charged with theft, tampering with public records and forgery April 11, 2009

Posted by jefhenningeresq in News.
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The definition of insanity: average person steals $70,000.  If convicted, will most likely get probation.  Newark fire department clerk allegedly embezzles $1,000 and will face 5 to 10 years in prison, with 3 years being the most likely outcome though a plea bargain.  The difference between the two?  Unlike the average person, Eric Smith, the clerk in this example, is charge with official misconduct due to his public employment. 

Smith worked at the fire department since 1996.  As a clerk, he sold permits to the public for using flammable materials. He allegedly told customers to leave money orders blank as they submitted permit applications.  He then allegedly added his own name to the money orders and used them at a Rent-A-Center store on Lyons Avenue in Newark. 

The forgery charge is from a fake permit that he allegedly issued.  This official misconduct charge is crazy.  Our law makers really need to do something to fix this mess.  Let’s assume he is guilty.  Does he really deserve to go to prison for $1000? 

Story is here.

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