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Police Account of Moriarty DWI Charge – Sound Fugazy to You [POLL]

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This is one of those “gifts that will keep on giving!”

And I knew, once the story broke last night, it would go on and on…sort of like the lyric in “Don’t Stop Believin’!”

Assemblyman Paul Moriarity’s account of the story is 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 (Washington Township) 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.”

(I said the same thing on last night’s show. Why not just take the test and remove all doubt. Now the story follows you wherever you go!)

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.

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.

What leads me to believe there’s something fugazy about the way police are handling this is found in their account from this:

Local police released details today on the arrest of a state assemblyman on drunken driving charges.

Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester) was stopped by police while driving on State Highway 42 in Turnersville shortly before 4 p.m.Tuesday, according to a report by Washington Township Police in Gloucester County.

He was driving alone, the report said.

The lawmaker was then brought to the local police department and charged with three counts, including driving while intoxicated and refusing to take a breathalyzer test.

The report, produced specifically for the media, does not provide any details about why the officer stopped Moriarty or why he believed the lawmaker was drinking. A spokesman for the department, Police Cpt. Richard Leonard declined a request to provide the full police report.

“If you want the police report, file a request, and we’ll review it and determine whether it’s a public record,” Leonard said.

In a statement Tuesday, Moriarty said he had just left his local car dealership when he was pulled over by a cop who thought he cut him off at the 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.,” he said in a statement. “Let me be clear: I had consumed no alcoholic beverages, and this entire episode was an abuse of power.”

Moriarty added that the arresting officer was previously fired from the Washington Township Police Department for allegedly being untruthful in an Internal Affairs Investigation, and a court subsequently ordered his reinstatement.

Washington Township police did not directly respond to the accusations, but the release said, “Chief Rafael Muniz is aware of the media reports of statements made by Paul D. Moriarty alleging officer misconduct. All complaints made will be fully investigated as required by the New Jersey Attorney General Guidelines.“

So to have to go through the rigors of having to file a request for the records of the police report leads one to speculate that perhaps the Assemblyman was right in his refusal to take the breatholizer…and perhaps the cop had it out for him.

Should the Assemblyman have submitted to the breatholizer test?


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