Middletown officials offer support for pending state legislation

MIDDLETOWN – Members of the Township Committee are in support of pending state legislation that, if passed in the Senate and Assembly and signed into law by the governor, could help a resident of Middletown.

At its meeting on Feb. 16, the governing body passed a resolution expressing support for legislation “expanding offenses eligible for expungement upon successful discharge from Drug Court.” The legislation is S-2951/A-4771.

According to the resolution, New Jersey’s laws “generally provide for the expungement of records and information relating to all prior arrests, detentions, convictions and proceedings upon the completion of a term of special probation or satisfactory completion of a substance abuse program, subject to certain exceptions.”

The pending legislation that has received the committee’s support “would expand the offenses that are eligible for expungement upon a defendant’s successful discharge from Drug Court, including individuals convicted of certain excepted offenses that are found to be drug or alcohol dependent at the time of commission of the offense.”

Specifically, according to municipal officials, “this bill would help make individuals eligible for expungement, such as Middletown resident Nikki Tierney, who has turned her life around following addiction to raise three kids as a single mom and graduate with a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling with a specialization in addiction studies, but remains ineligible to become a licensed alcohol and drug counselor due to her non-violent conviction from over one decade ago.

“The Township Committee finds the goals of the bill to be laudable and supports the Legislature’s effort at providing individuals such as Nikki Tierney with a second chance at leading a law-abiding life through expungement,” municipal officials said in stating their support for the pending legislation.