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Judge Tosses Corruption Charges Against Suspended Bergen County Police Chief

Saddle Brook

By: Richard L. Smith   

A Passaic County judge dismissed an indictment on a suspended Saddle Brook Police Chief charged with corruption and misconduct in 2021. 

Ironically, the charges were brought in March 2021, as Chief Robert Kugler launched his candidacy to run for Bergen County Sheriff.

Passaic County Superior Court Judge Marilyn Clark ruled in favor of a defense Motion to Dismiss a criminal indictment against Chief Robert Kugler.

According to Passaic County court officials, The Honorable Judge Marilyn Clark publicly issued her 56-page decision Wednesday (Nov. 2, 2022) dismissing the NJ State Attorney General Office of Public Integrity and Accountability charges which accused Chief Kugler of Official Misconduct, Conspiracy to Commit Official Misconduct, and Corruption of Public Resources.

  The case was moved to Passaic County by the Attorney General’s office to the appearance of a conflict that Kluger was a a longtime Chief of a police in Bergen County and that the Attorney General at the time (Gurbir Grewal) whose office brought forth the charges, was a former Bergen County Prosecutor. 

RLS Media learned the state criminal charges alleged that Kugler, in his capacity as Chief of Police, assigned on-duty police officers to escort funeral processions from funeral homes, including his family-owned Kugler Funeral Home in Saddle Brook and which was unlawful and he (Kugler) received a personal benefit as a result.

The case cited that the state erroneously cited and relied upon a Saddle Brook Township ordinance adopted in 1978, which prohibited police escorts of local business people to and from banks to make deposits of monies.

Judge Clark ruled strongly in favor of the defense argument that the local ordinance the state relied on had all to do with providing local business owners rides in the police car to banks to make money deposits and did not apply to funeral escorts at all. 

The Judge also found that presenting the matter to the grand jury unfairly left out other relevant and critical exculpatory information for the jurors to consider before rendering a decision to indict or not. 

Kugler praised his legal attorney John Bruno Jr. of Rutherford…

“I was very fortunate to have my personal Bergen County attorney John Bruno Jr. and his legal team submit comprehensive and exhausting fact-driven legal briefs and oral argument which overwhelmingly proved our position that no violation of law or other unlawful act was committed”.