EDISON — Four township cops admitted Friday to plotting to retaliate against a North Brunswick police officer who had arrested one of their relatives on a drunk driving charge in 2012.

In pleading guilty, the four will give up their jobs and will never be able to hold public employment in the state. They were sentenced to probationary terms.

Township officials were pleased to see the four dirty cops resign their positions from one of the most beleaguered police departments in the state.

One of the four cops is facing a slew of other charges, the most serious of which is attempted murder in the torching of his police captain’s home while the police official and his family slept inside.

In the retaliation case, Michael A. Dotro, 39, of Manalapan, pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy, admitting he sought retaliation against the cop who arrested his relative.

Brian Favretto, 41, of Brick, pleaded guilty to a count of obstruction of the administration of law, admitting he tried to intervene in the drunk-driving case.

Victor E. Aravena, 45, of Edison, pleaded guilty to a count of obstruction of the administration of law, saying he passed along the computer records to Dotro.

William H. Gesell, 48, of Edison, who was a sergeant, pleaded guilty to tampering with pubic records, admitting he accessed computer records on the North Brunswick officer.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said the cops never carried out their plan.

“This is a sad day for the Edison Police Department because of the tarnish it brings to the reputations of our many other upstanding and hard-working police officers,” Edison Business Administrator Maureen Ruane said. “We are glad to see these men chose to resign their positions, bringing an end to their tenure here. We must also commend the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office for its diligent investigation and prosecution of this matter.”

In addition to the attempted murder and arson charge from 2013, Dotro also has been charged with slashing an Edison woman’s tires and possessing brass knuckles, marijuana, imitation firearms and a black jack club in his police duty bag in 2013.

His wife, Alycia, also is facing charges of giving false information in an effort to cover up for her husband in the attempted murder-arson case.

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Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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