Categorized | News, News Release

Police Chief Ruiz suspended without pay over car-repair accusations

The following releases came in after The Amboy Guardian deadline. We hope to have more information around the first of the year.


News Release – 12/16/14
From the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office:

Police Chief Benjamin Ruiz

Police Chief Benjamin Ruiz

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that the chief of the Perth Amboy Police Department was charged today with using a department mechanic to repair personal vehicles while the mechanic was supposed to be fixing police vehicles for the city.

Benjamin Ruiz, 53, of Perth Amboy was charged with one count of theft of services for authorizing the repairs on various occasions between December 8, 2013, and July 29, 2014.

Ruiz was released in his own recognizance after he surrendered at the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department in New Brunswick.

He was charged after an investigation by Sgt. Michael Daniewicz of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that the chief had the city mechanic make repairs to two of the chief’s personal vehicles, as well as having repairs performed on a vehicle privately owned by a personal acquaintance of the chief.

After being charged, the chief was suspended without pay. He began working as a police officer for the city on May 23, 1988, and was appointed chief of police on September 10, 2012.

The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Daniewicz of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4018.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charge against Ruiz is merely an accusation and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


 

News Release – 12/16/14
Mayor Diaz’s Statement on Police Chief Allegations

 

PERTH AMBOY, NJ— Mayor Wilda Diaz responds to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s charges against Chief Benjamin Ruiz, below:

 

“I have been informed by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office that it has charged the Chief of Police with allegations announced in a statement by Prosecutor Andrew Carey.

Throughout my six years as Mayor of Perth Amboy, I have prided myself on running an open and ethical administration. I have taken immediate action to ensure the best interest of the residents of our community.

Although we live in a society where each one of us is innocent until proven guilty, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s charges are serious enough that I am immediately moving to suspend Chief Ruiz without pay until the final resolution of the charges against him.

Effective immediately, I have appointed Captain Larry Cattano, as Acting Deputy Chief of Police. He has been placed in command of all Police Department operations until further notice.”

All questions regarding the matter should be directed to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Police Chief Benjamin Ruiz, third from right, at swearing-in ceremony for police officers in June 2014.

Police Chief Benjamin Ruiz, third from right, at swearing-in ceremony for police officers in June 2014.

 

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