Assemblyman Moriarty Calls DUI Charges An “Abuse Of Power”
Assemblyman Paul Moriarty of District 4 in South Jersey calls a DUI charge made on Tuesday afternoon in Washington Township an "abuse of power" by the arresting officer.
The Washington Township Times reports the arrest was made on the Black Horse Pike but police nor the township solicitor would offer any details.
Moriarty emailed a denial to the media on Tuesday night and explained that he was on his way to lunch from a car dealership when he was stopped by an unidentified Washington Township officer who claimed Moriarty "cut him off at an intersection."
Moriarty said he had not had any alcoholic beverages prior to being stopped.
"I disputed his assertion which led him to order me from my car, submit me to a field sobriety test and issue a summons for DUI," said Moriarty in his statement.
Moriarty tells the Times he refused to take a breathalyzer test because “I felt like there was something fishy about the whole process,” Moriarty said. “I felt like I was being harassed and singled out.”
He says once he got to the police station he was refused access to his lawyer and he stopped answering questions. Moriarty says he was then issued 3 summons and then left.
Moriarty's lawyer advised him later he should have taken the test but the Assemblyman remains skeptical.
“I didn’t know,” Moriarty said. “I didn’t trust the process because of what had already gone on. I was afraid. I don’t know who calibrated the machines. I didn’t trust what was happening to me, and I said I’d wait to talk to an attorney.”
Moriarty vowed to fight the charges, and possibly file charges with the Washington Township Police Department’s Internal Affairs. He said he can prove where he was and what he was doing in the moments leading up to his arrest.
“I intend to vigorously fight this,” Moriarty said.
He further claims that the arresting officer "was previously fired from the Washington Township Police Department for allegedly being untruthful in an Internal Affairs Investigation. A court subsequently ordered his reinstatement."
Moriarty served as Mayor of Washington Township from 2004 until being elected to the Assembly in 2008. He had been a consumer reporter for KYW TV in Philadelphia.
ASSEMBLYMAN PAUL MORIARTY'S STATEMENT
(Washington Township) - This afternoon after spending over an hour at my local car dealership and heading to grab lunch, I was pulled over by a Washington Township Police Officer who claimed I had cut him off at an intersection. I disputed his assertion which led him to order me from my car, submit me to a field sobriety test and issue a summons for DUI. Let me be clear: I had consumed no alcoholic beverages, and this entire episode was an abuse of power.
The Officer that detained me, today, was previously fired from the Washington Township Police Department for allegedly being untruthful in an Internal Affairs Investigation. A court subsequently ordered his reinstatement.
My attorney intends to vigorously defend these allegations, which may include filing charges with Washington Township Police Department's Internal Affairs.