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Will 72 year old man go to prison for stealing quarters? September 13, 2009

Posted by jefhenningeresq in News.
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I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it.  New Jersey’s official misconduct statute needs to be thrown out.  It is really leading to absurd results.  Here is the latest example.

Albert L. Peter is a 72-year-old Wildwood resident who served as a meter collector and repairman for several years.  He has been charged with theft and official misconduct and as a result, he could face more than 10 years in prison if convicted.

Peter was arrested on July 20th and fired shortly after.  That arrest was the result of Wildwood police officer Gary DeMarzo allegedly seeing Peter put bank bags into his car.  Two bank bags containing $980.60 were later found by the police even though they believe that he stole about $1,450 overall.

Let’s assume he is guilty for a second.  I’m sure he has no record and he is 72 years old!  Does he really need to be in prison for stealing less than $1500?  If he stole $74,000 from a private employer, he would be looking, at the worst, probation.  But, since he is a government worker, he is facing official misconduct charges which will land him in prison for 5 to 10 years.   If you think that makes sense, please explain it to me.

Hopefully, he will have a good attorney that can work this case out before indictment.  He should get PTI, but if he gets a plea to the theft charge with a suspended sentence, that would be nice too.  Hopefully, the State uses some common sense and doesn’t drop the hammer on this guy.

Story is here.

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