FREEHOLD — A New Jersey State Police sergeant accused of mendacity about performing legally required checks on alcohol breath-testing units pleaded not responsible Monday to data tampering fees.
Sgt. Marc Dennis didn’t converse throughout his arraignment in entrance of Decide Richard English in Superior Courtroom in Monmouth County
After the courtroom look, his lawyer, Robert Ebberup, stated the sergeant was “harmless of the fees introduced towards him.”
“We think about the justice course of,” Ebberup stated. “In the long run, my shopper can be absolutely vindicated.”
The officer was indicted final month on expenses of second-diploma official misconduct, third-diploma tampering with public data and fourth diploma falsifying data.
The legal case towards Dennis, a coordinator within the State Police Alcohol Drug Testing Unit, has jeopardized some 20,000 drunken driving convictions throughout New Jersey as a result of the unit performs routine checks on machines utilized by native police departments.
Dennis was criminally charged in September after a supervisor allegedly caught him skipping a required step within the calibration of the machines accepted the the state’s Supreme Courtroom to check DWI suspects, that are often known as Alcotest units.
20K DWI instances within the air. Now what?
Dennis was launched with out bail following his look. State prosecutors haven’t provided a plea deal.
The sergeant stays suspended with out pay over the accusations, by which he was accused of intentionally omitting a temperature verify in re-calibrating a handful of units.
However data obtained by NJ Advance Media present state authorities are involved the disclosure might undermine convictions in any case involving a machine Dennis examined throughout Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset and Union counties.
Prosecutors keep the temperature verify Dennis is accused of skipping was not scientifically needed, however it’s required underneath procedures created to adjust to a state Supreme Courtroom determination relating to the admissibility of DWI check outcomes, referred to as State v. Chun.
And DWI legal professionals informed NJ Advance Media referred to as the temperature examine is a essential step meant to make sure residents aren’t convicted of drunken driving based mostly on a defective machine studying.
The state Division of Legal Justice has requested a particular decide be appointed to deal with a possible glut of authorized challenges. That request continues to be earlier than the Supreme Courtroom, based on a judiciary spokesman.
The state additionally faces a category-motion lawsuit…