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Police chief accused of using officers for private business

March 8, 2021 GMT

SADDLE BROOK, N.J (AP) — A northern New Jersey police chief faces criminal charges of alleged use of officers to perform escorts for his private funeral home business, according to a criminal complaint released Monday.

The attorney general’s office said Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler has been charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and corruption of public resources.

A criminal complaint alleges that from January 2019 through last August, the 59-year-old Kugler ordered officers to perform escorts using police vehicles during their regular hours, in violation of township ordinances, and didn’t reimburse the town for the costs. They also allegedly provided escorts to cemeteries outside Saddle Brook.

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The Bergen County prosecutor’s office has taken over the Saddle Brook police department’s day-to-day operations, according to the attorney general’s office.

The conspiracy and official misconduct charges both carry five- to 10-year terms upon conviction, with a five-year mandatory minimum with no chance for parole in the case of the misconduct count.

A voicemail was left at Kugler’s office Monday. It wasn’t known if he had retained an attorney who could comment on the charges.