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County Sheriff Suspends Seven Sheriff's Office Employees Linked to Spicuzzo Scandal

Six Middlesex County Sheriff's Investigators and one Sheriff's Officer have been suspended on charges including bribery and conduct unbecoming of a public employee.

A number of Middlesex County Sheriff's Office authorities have been suspended without pay following an internal review related to a state investigation that put a former county sheriff behind bars in September. 

"Today, I am announcing that I have taken action to suspend without pay, pending termination, four Middlesex County Sheriff's Investigators and one Sheriff's Officer as a result of an Internal Affairs investigation conducted by this office at my direction," Sheriff Mildred Scott said in a press release issued Friday afternoon.

On Thursday, Investigator Richard Mucia was suspended. He faces charges of bribery and "other sufficient cause."

Officer Bruce Kentos was also suspended on that same day. He faces charges of conduct unbecoming a public employee, neglect of duty, bribery, truthfulness, and other sufficient cause, according to the release.

The following officers were suspended on Jan. 3 according to the release:

  • Investigator Christopher Jarema, who faces charges of bribery and other sufficient cause.
  • Investigator Thomas Varga, who faces charges of bribery and other sufficient cause.
  • Investigator Giancarlo Russo, who faces charges of bribery, other sufficient cause and conduct unbecoming of a public employee. 
Two other investigators were previously suspended in June 2013. They are:
  • Investigator Daniel Link, who faces charges of conduct unbecoming of a public employee and other sufficient cause
  • Investigator Eric Strachan, who faces charges of conduct unbecoming of a public employee and other sufficient cause. 
All five men were suspended without pay, pending termination, according to the release. 

Over the last 60 days, the sheriff's office went over investigation materials provided to them by the State Attorney General's Office, which oversaw the investigation and conviction of former county sheriff Joseph Spicuzzo. 

Spicuzzo was sentenced to nine years in prison this past September for leading a jobs for cash scheme that entailed soliciting bribes from people seeking employment or promotions in the Middlesex County Sheriff's Office while he was county sheriff. 

Two other sheriff's officers were also convicted and jailed for their roles in the scheme. 

"My Office's investigation will continue until a thorough review of all materials has been completed and until all Sheriff's Officers and Sheriff's Investigators involved in any inappropriate activity have been identified and disciplined," Scott said. 

On Friday, Scott said the suspensions were still in Internal Affairs and declined to comment on the process of termination for the suspended officers. 

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