Former New Brunswick Internal Affairs Chief Indicted For Mishandling Dozens of Investigations
Faces up to 20 years in prison
In five years as the head of the New Brunswick Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit, Sgt. Richard Rowe managed to thwart 81 investigations according to a grand jury indictment. The former New Jersey cop is accused of falsifying, hiding, removing, and destroying files related to the investigations. Rowe was being paid more than $123,000 when he was suspended without pay in March 2011; the alleged misconduct happened between 2003 and 2007. If convicted, Rowe could serve more than 20 years in prison and lose his pension. As for the police department, it promises to reform its Internal Affairs process so investigations are routed through the county prosecutor's office for a rubber stamp before they're closed.
According to New Brunswick Today the allegations were first made public in late 2011, just a few weeks after a New Brunswick police officer shot and killed an unarmed man, sparking protests in the city. The two officers involved in that shooting were investigated by Internal Affairs a total of nine times between them, going back to 2005 and Rowe's tenure. A grand jury declined to indict those cops and one has since resigned instead of facing punishment for three procedural violations Internal Affairs found he committed. Instead he applied for a disability pension.