Passaic County police unions call on top prosecutor to resign, vote “no confidence”
PATERSON — The police unions representing cops in Passaic County have called on Camelia Valdes to resign immediately and voted that they have "no confidence" in her capacity to serve as county prosecutor.
NorthJersey.com reported on Friday that the Passaic County PBA conference released a two-page open letter blasting Valdes. Among several concerns, the police unions said that Valdes, whose office oversees the county's police and sheriff's office, has prioritized investigating cops over criminals.
“Without any probable cause, or reasonable and articulable suspicion, Prosecutor Valdes has determined that it is law enforcement who must be investigated without cause,” the letter reportedly said.
In 2021, the prosecutor's office assumed oversight of the Paterson police department's internal affairs division. Paterson is the county's largest municipality with nearly 160,000 residents, according to census data.
The PBA also claims in the letter that some members have tried reaching out to Valdes but were either ignored or retaliated against.
Valdes is also facing accusations of retaliation from one of her own employees. A media specialist in her office filed a lawsuit in April claiming he was "frozen out" after refusing to process a disk with inappropriate images of Valdes and her husband in "various stages of undress."
"Her shocking lack of insight and judgment into her own actions renders her ill-suited for this crucial leadership position," the letter reportedly read. "Her lack of leadership has crippled our ability to effectively provide law enforcement services to the residents of our communities, and we call for her immediate resignation."
Police sources reportedly told NorthJersey.com that each of the county's 16 municipal police department unions supported the letter and no-confidence vote that except for two departments that abstained.
The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office did not respond to a request for comment from New Jersey 101.5.