Officer Acquitted on Charges He Falsely Arrested Lawmaker

WOODBURY, N.J. (AP) -

A New Jersey police officer accused of making a bogus drunken-driving arrest of a state lawmaker was cleared Tuesday of all charges.

A Gloucester County jury deliberated for about 10 hours over two days before it acquitted Washington Township officer Joseph DiBuonaventura in the July 2012 arrest of Assemblyman Paul Moriarty.

Moriarty maintained his innocence, claiming DiBuonaventura targeted him, and all charges against the lawmaker were dismissed shortly after DiBuonaventura was indicted in May 2013.

DiBuonaventura had denied the allegations and said he was being targeted because he was a whistleblower. He has a civil case pending against the township and Police Chief Rafael Muniz.

“They’re all political cronies, it should’ve never gotten to this point,” he said.

DiBuonaventura has been suspended without pay since the charges were filed against him. He says he hopes to return to work with the department.

Moriarty said he was not happy with the verdict, saying that video of the incident that was captured by a camera in DiBuonaventura’s patrol car “speaks for itself.”