Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler was charged today with ordering on-duty police officers under his command to perform police escorts for his private business – a funeral home – using police department vehicles. According to officials, Kugler, 59, of Saddle Brook, was charged today by complaint-summons with the following offenses:
- Conspiracy (2nd Degree)
- Official Misconduct (2nd Degree)
- Corruption of Public Resources (3rd Degree)
According to the Bergen County Prosecutors office, Kugler is the owner of Kugler Funeral Home in the Township of Saddle Brook and is alleged that between January 2019 and August 2020, Kugler ordered subordinate police officers to perform police escorts for funerals at his funeral home using police vehicles, in furtherance of his own unlawful conduct.
Use of police vehicles for escort services is prohibited by township ordinance, with the exception of escorts for the municipal government of Saddle Brook or nonprofit organizations.
Officials said that police officers allegedly conducted escorts ordered by Kugler during their regular shifts, and they escorted funeral processions to cemeteries both within and outside of Saddle Brook. Kugler Funeral Home did not reimburse the Township of Saddle Brook for the escorts. As of today, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office has taken over supervision of day-to-day operations of the Saddle Brook Police Department.