A Superior Court judge has dismissed the DWI charges against Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, ruling that the traffic stop that resulted in the charge was unlawful.
The officer who charged Moriarty on July 31 has since been indicted on 14 charges including official misconduct, tampering with official records and false swearing.
First Assistant Prosecutor Michael Curwin made the motion to dismiss the charges, according to the South Jersey Times, which quoted from a release issued by the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s office.
“Curwin told the court that it was entirely due to the alleged unlawful actions of Patrolman DiBuoanventura in conducting the July 31, 2012 motor vehicle stop that the State would be unable to pursue prosecution of Mr. Moriarty on the complaint-summonses,” the statement read.
Charges that Moriarty refused to take a blood test were also dismissed.
“Today’s decision to exonerate me of all charges related to a false arrest and the violation of my constitutional rights only proves what I’ve been saying all along,” Moriarty said in a statement. “I appreciate the decision, as well as the recent state grand jury criminal indictments against the police officer in question. While this experience has been difficult for me and my family, I am thankful that the truth is now out and that I can fully concentrate my efforts on behalf of the citizens of South Jersey.”
Moriarty was arrested after he left a local Nissan dealer, where he had confronted the manager about the employees’ support for a rival political candidate. The manager had an employee call the police. Another officer overheard the phone call and called DiBuonaventura to say she heard information about Moriarty being drunk. She said she called back later to say she had little information.
DiBuonaventura’s statements to Moriarty about the nature of the stop were contradicted by video recorded by the police cruiser’s dashboard camera.
Moriarty refused a Breathalyzer after the stop and was charged. He maintained his innocence, admitting to the dispute with the car dealer, but denying he’d had anything to drink.