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State v. Stilwell

Decided: November 2, 1967.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
GEORGE E. STILWELL, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



Sullivan, Foley and Leonard. Foley, J.A.D.

Foley

The State by leave appeals from an interlocutory order of the Mercer County Court granting a motion to suppress testimony of defendant taken before the Mercer County grand jury after defendant waived immunity from indictment and prosecution.

The background facts of this proceeding follow. In the early part of 1962 defendant's activities as superintendent of roads of Hamilton Township became the subject of an investigation by the police department and the township committee. As a result he was suspended from his position on August 15, 1963 and the matter was referred to the office of the county prosecutor for further investigation. On April 7, 1964 defendant was subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury. Informed that his conduct in public office during the previous five years was the subject matter of the investigation, he signed a waiver of immunity before testifying. The waiver was executed upon the advice of, and in the presence of, his attorney.

On the motion to suppress defendant testified:

"Q. At the time you received that subpoena, what did you do?

A. I told my lawyer.

Q. Who is your lawyer? A. George Pellettieri, Sr.

Q. What happened when you consulted with him?

A. I showed him the subpoena and he said --

Mr. Barry: I object to what Mr. Pellettieri said on the ground that it is hearsay, self-serving hearsay.

The Court: Hearsay notwithstanding, go ahead.

A. Mr. Pellettieri instructed me that it was in my best interest to do so, so that I wouldn't lose my pension rights or get a dismissal from the job. I ...


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