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Prosecutor finds Ridgewood police chief did nothing wrong in conditionally hiring new recruits

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli found “no criminality” in connection with the hiring of two new Ridgewood patrol officers by Police Chief John Ward, authorities said tonight.

Ward had been accused of manipulating civil service rules in the hiring of the son of a current police officer and the son of a retired police captain.

Ward insisted that no rules were broken and that both met all civil service qualifications.

CLIFFVIEW PILOT broke the news that Ward asked Molinelli to investigate his actions in conditionally hiring the two in violation of a village limit on the number of department officers.

The discovery prevented the two recruits — both of whom are related to current or former village employees — from entering the Bergen County Police Academy the night before training was to begin.

“People need to have confidence in government leaders,” the chief told CLIFFVIEW PILOT after making the request.

Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld announced during a public council meeting tonight that Molinelli, in turn, found no wrongdoing.

Officer Keith Killion was sworn in two weeks ago. The other officer left the police academy.

The council funded the hires a year ago this month and the recruits had already gotten their uniforms and haircuts, among other measures, when the process came to a sudden halt. READ MORE….

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