EDISON — A recently retired police captain has admitted that he illegally used sick time while working as a security guard at a mall.

Middlesex County prosecutors say Natale Fresco pleaded guilty Tuesday to unlawful taking. He faces up to six months in jail and a probation term when he's sentenced Oct. 11.

Fresco was a police officer for 36 years before he retired from the Edison force in October 2015.

Prosecutors say the 61-year-old Edison resident was still on the force when he worked at the Menlo Park Mall for nearly three months in 2015. He collected about $38,000 in sick pay from the town during that time.

Fresco will repay that money as part of his plea agreement and also will be banned from public employment.

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