Charges were filed today against the former president of Middlesex County Sheriff’s Officers’ Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) Local 165 and a former state delegate for the union, who were both accused of using union credit cards to make unauthorized purchases.
Paul Lucarelli, 46, of South River, who is the former president of PBA Local 165, and Mark Papi, 57, of Edison, who is a former state PBA union delegate representing PBA Local 165, were both charged with third-degree theft by unlawful taking.
Lucarelli and Papi are accused of spending in excess of $500 on airplane flights for their significant others to attend the national PBA convention, hotel rooms for Lucarelli and a guest, and fireworks, according to the Attorney General's office. None of the expenses were authorized by the PBA members or PBA by-laws and none of the expenses were reimbursed by the two men, according to the Attorney General.
Lucarelli served as president of PBA Local 165 for over 15 years, while Papi was a state delegate for the PBA for about 20 years, before his recent retirement.
Lucarelli was suspended as a county sheriff’s officer in August, 2011 after he was charged in the cash-for-jobs scheme. Lucarelli was charged with one count of conspiracy, three counts of official misconduct, and one count of bribery.
were charged with conspiring to help Spicuzzo allegedly collect approximately $112,000 in bribes from individuals seeking positions or promotions in the sheriff’s office.
DiBiasi was charged with one count of conspiracy, three counts of official misconduct, and one count of bribery.
Spicuzzo is facing charges of one count of conspiracy, three counts of official misconduct, one count of pattern of official misconduct, and six counts of bribery.
Spicuzzo is also facing charges of second-degree pattern of official misconduct. All charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison, while certain charges against each defendant carry a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison without possibility of parole, according to the Attorney General's office.
Lucarelli and Papi surrendered Monday afternoon to detectives of the State Police Official Corruption Bureau to be processed on the theft charges and were later released on their own recognizance.
Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Because the charges are indictable offenses, the case will be presented to a grand jury for a potential indictment.
The investigation into the use of union credit cards by Lucarelli and Papi for alleged personal expenditures totaling thousands of dollars is ongoing.