Officers, investigators suspended for alleged involvement in Spicuzzo case

Several investigators and officers from the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office have been suspended without pay, pending termination.

The charges stemmed from an internal affairs investigation related to the New Jersey Attorney General’s investigation of former Middlesex County Sheriff Joe Spicuzzo, according to the current sheriff, Mildred S. Scott.

Spicuzzo was sentenced in September to nine years in prison for running a jobs-forcash scheme at the sheriff’s office. The 68- year-old Helmetta resident pleaded guilty over the summer to a charge of accepting $25,000 in exchange for a job in his office.

On Jan. 17, Investigator Richard Mucia was charged with bribery, and Officer Bruce Kentos was charged with conduct unbecoming of a public employee. Investigator Christopher Jarema was charged with bribery; Investigator Thomas Varga was charged with bribery; and Investigator Giancarlo Russo was charged with bribery and conduct unbecoming of a public employee on Jan. 3.

Investigators Daniel Link and Eric Strachan were suspended without pay on June 27 on charges of conduct unbecoming of a public employee.

According to Scott, the investigation involved a review of investigation materials provided by the Attorney General’s Office on Oct. 11.

The investigation will continue until a thorough review of all materials has been completed, and all officers and investigators involved in any inappropriate action have been identified and disciplined, she said.