NJ officer acquitted on charges he falsely arrested lawmaker

A southern New Jersey police officer accused of making a bogus drunken driving arrest of state lawmaker has been cleared of all charges.

A Gloucester County jury deliberated for about 10 hours over two days before it acquitted Washington Township officer Joseph DiBuonaventura. He had faced 14 counts — including official misconduct and tampering with records — stemming from 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. That came after prosecutors said the charges against Moriarty stemmed from an illegal stop and could not be prosecuted.

DiBuonaventura had denied the allegations and said he was being targeted because he was a whistleblower.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal