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Shusted v. Traenkner

Decided: November 13, 1978.

THOMAS J. SHUSTED, CAMDEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
RONALD J. TRAENKNER, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, opinion reported in 155 N.J. Super. 23 (1977).

Halpern, Ard and Antell. The opinion of the court was delivered by Halpern, P.J.A.D.

Halpern

Defendant-respondent, a police officer in the Borough of Audubon, was indicted for attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and misconduct in office. The facts leading up to the indictment need not be detailed. Suffice it to say, he voluntarily appeared before the grand jury and admitted his misconduct in office, but denied the other charges for which he was later indicted.

In light of defendant's grand jury testimony, the Camden County Prosecutor filed this suit in lieu of prorogative writs to remove him from office pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:81-17.2a et seq. The Attorney General appeared and filed a brief as amicus curiae. Following a hearing the trial judge rendered a lengthy formal opinion and entered a judgment dismissing the complaint. Generally speaking, he reasoned that the specific provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:14-147 and N.J.S.A. 40A:14-149.1 must be given precedence over the general provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:81-17.2a et seq.

On this appeal the prosecutor raises the following issues in his brief:

POINT I

N.J.S.A. 40A:14-149.1 IS NOT IN CONFLICT WITH N.J.S.A. 2A:71-17.2(a)(3), AND DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE REMOVAL OF A POLICE OFFICER PURSUANT TO THE LATTER STATUTE.

POINT II

DEFENDANT POLICE OFFICER, HAVING ADMITTED BEFORE

A GRAND JURY TO THE COMMISSION OF MISDEMEANORS RELATING TO HIS EMPLOYMENT, SHOULD BE REMOVED BY THIS COURT.

POINT III

DEFENDANT DOES NOT HAVE USE IMMUNITY FROM HIS GRAND ...


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