Union County Police Officer Sentenced for Changing Bar Codes at Walmart, Misconduct

Officials say on Tuesday, Blake Clay, 36, of Rahway, a sworn member of law enforcement, was sentenced to three years in state prison, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo announced Friday.

In September 2019, a jury convicted Clay of theft, theft by deception, and official misconduct following a two-week trial prosecuted by Union County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Derek Nececkas and Assistant Prosecutor Robert Rosenthal. Following trial, the court issued an order forfeiting Clay’s right to public employment and barring him from future public employment in New Jersey.

An investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit revealed that Clay visited department stores and Walmarts in Clark, Edison, Linden, and Woodbridge multiple times over the course of several months in 2016, and used counterfeit barcodes to significantly lower the prices of various items when they would be rung up at the register, according to Union County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Derek Nececkas and Assistant Prosecutor Robert Rosenthal, who prosecuted the case.

This meant that on more than 10 occasions, Clay paid amounts of $1.50 to $4.50 for items actually ranging in price from $15.99 to $39.99.

Clay must serve at least two years before the possibility of parole, pursuant to the mandatory minimum set by statute for the crime of official misconduct.