Amid Corruption Allegations, Passaic County Sheriff Speziale Resigns, Accepts Top Port Authority Position

11 08 2010

Passaic-Jerry Speziale knows how to make a dramatic entrance, whether chasing thieves, clubbing with Paris Hilton or playing a good cop in a movie. And his newest stage is the Port Authority Police Department.

Speziale abruptly resigned Tuesday after nine turbulent years as Passaic County sheriff to take a job with the Port Authority. Citing family reasons — his wife, Maggie, has been treated for cancer — Speziale abandoned a reelection bid and said he’d donate his $1 million campaign war chest to charity.

“It was an honor to serve as sheriff, and I will always be thankful to the citizens of Passaic County for the opportunity of protecting their homes and neighborhoods and creating a better quality of life,” Speziale said

Although it had been quietly in the works for months, his jump to the job of “deputy superintendent and assistant director or public safety” for the Port Authority Police Department took almost everyone by surprise.

“I spoke with him two days ago, and there was no indication that he was going to resign,” said Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes. “He will be missed. He was more than just a figurehead as sheriff. He was a good street cop, and you could always count on him to help you with a case.”

Speziale’s right-hand man, Undersheriff Charles Meyers, was sworn in as acting sheriff Tuesday and will oversee the department until Governor Christie appoints an interim sheriff.

News Source: North Jersey .com

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