Post Date May 26, 2012 – Former Hackensack, New Jersey Police Chief Charles “Ken” Zisa will face prison term to maximum of 45 years after he was found guilty and convicted of official misconduct and auto insurance fraud.
A Bergen County grand jury deliberated for three days had found that the former police chief filed a falsified NJ auto insurance report, and involved himself to two investigations that involved his former girlfriend. However, Zisa’s counsel plans to appeal his case. Zisa had become prominent in Hackensack, leading its police force for 15 years, and prior to that, being a state assemblyman for 8 years. Not only the former police chief but as well as his family held powerful appointed and elected positions for decades in the said town.
In 2010, Zisa faced suspension without pay after he was accused of official misconduct and fraud on car insurance in NJ. He was said to have removed his girlfriend, Kathleen Tiernan, from the scene of accident who was believed to be intoxicated that time. The accident happened in Febraury 4, 2008. Authorities accused Zisa of filing falsified information to have an NJ auto insurance claim. Along with Zisa, other police officers were also suspended, namely: Captain Danilo Garcia and police officer Thomas Aletta. The three police officers had a 13-count indictment that composed of tampering with evidence, witness tampering, official misconduct, conspiracy to commit official misconduct, and auto insurance fraud prepared by NJ First Assistant Prosecutor William Galda.
It was learned that Tiernan was driving Zisa’s vehicle when it hit a utility pole. Authorities said that Zisa then arrived to the scene and removed his girlfriend which prevented them from conducting thorough accident-related investigation.
In addition, the police chief was also accused of cover-up on an investigation pertaining to a 2004 assault and robbery that involved his girlfriend’s sons. However, Zisa’s attorney told reporters that the said case is just based on statements from police officers who will gain financially from his client’s conviction. The attorney said that this are all lies and was just brought up as a political favor to the former police chief’s enemies.
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