A 27-year veteran of the Freehold Township Police Department has admitted to illegally accessing information from a law enforcement computer database for personal use, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced on Sept. 16.
Lt. John Todd, 58, pleaded guilty to a count of third degree computer theft during a Sept. 16 hearing before New Jersey Superior Court Judge Jill Grace O’Malley, sitting in Freehold, according to a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
An investigation by the prosecutor’s office Professional Responsibility and Bias Crime Unit revealed that on Feb. 23, 2022, for personal reasons, Todd contacted a police radio dispatcher asking for personal information about an individual from the Criminal Justice Information System, a database that exists strictly for law enforcement purposes.
Todd then passed that information along to a third party, who was not a member of law enforcement, according to the press release.
Under the terms of Todd’s plea, he will permanently forfeit public employment in New Jersey, receive a term of probation and pay nearly $1,000 in fines.
Todd will apply to enroll in New Jersey’s Pretrial Intervention Program, which provides first-time offenders with opportunities for alternatives to traditional prosecution, according to the press release.
Had he proceeded to indictment and trial, Todd could have faced up to five years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines, according to the press release.
The case was assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco,
director of the office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crimes Unit.
“Regardless of rank, there is no place within law enforcement for conduct such as this,” Linskey said. “The vast majority of officers countywide routinely serve the public with integrity and honor, risking their own lives on the job every single day.
“Actions such as those of Lt. Todd unfortunately make the work they do all the more challenging, particularly when it comes to gaining and maintaining the trust and respect of the citizens who depend on them,” she said.
Freehold Township Police Chief George K. Baumann said, “The Freehold Township Police Department is committed to our residents and the integrity of all interactions between my officers and the public we serve.
“We fully support the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and their efforts adjudicating a
difficult situation in which one of my officers violated the law.
“This breach of trust is an isolated incident and does not define us or distract us from our primary goal of serving the residents and visitors of our community,” Baumann said.
Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Nov. 18.