A city traffic enforcement officers with a lengthy criminal history has lost a second appeal with the state’s civil service commission to become a police officer, according to public records.
Andrew Gales appealed a commission decision that was issued in October 2014 that affirmed the removal of his name from the civil service promotional list for police officer based on unsatisfactory background report.
Gales’ background check resulted in the police department finding lengthy criminal history that included, alleged the city, three previous arrests for harassment, assault, and contempt of court.
Gales was arrested on January 8th, 2002 for harassment. He was again arrested on September 23rd, 2002 for aggravated assault and terroristic threats. He was arrested on December 26th, 2009 for an outstanding domestic violence warrant.
There was also two alleged temporary restraining order against the traffic enforcement officer. The “unsatisfactory employment record, unsatisfactory criminal record, unsatisfactory driving record” also included six reportable motor vehicle accidents, alleged the city. 24 tickets for parking offenses and moving violations were also on his record. The city alleged Gales also “failed a psychological evaluation” when he attempted to obtain employment with the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
Gales was also allegedly forced to resign from his job at the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office over a domestic violence restraining order. He had disciplinary charges pending against him, according to state records.
He was also terminated from Rent-a-Car. Working as a traffic enforcement officer for the city he also received written reprimand for chronic absenteeism, according to state documents.
All of this was included in the public decision issued on October 27th, 2014 and reported in a Paterson Times news story that his co-workers used to ridicule him at work. Derision from co-workers resulted in Gales taking time off from his city job.
He later alleged the decision was ostensibly “leaked” to the press by police. His lawyer Curtis LaForge put the Paterson Times, the city, and the state on notice. Gales’ lawyer said the story made-known his expunged criminal records in violation of state law; however, the commission held that his criminal record was not released by the state, but by him when he rebutted the police department’s assertion that he had a long criminal history by providing criminal records that were expunged.
Much of Gales’ problem stems from a sour relationship with the city’s previous public safety director Glenn Brown, he alleged. The two man worked together in the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, but they fell out at one point or another.
Gales alleged Brown took him off the promotional list in October 9th, 2013, due to personal animus.
Gales request for reconsideration was denied because his record shows “a pattern of irresponsibility and disregard for the law,” read the recent decision issued on June 19th, 2015.
The state held that police officers serve a special role in the communities where they are employed. A law enforcement officer “represents law and order to the citizenry and must present an image of personal integrity and dependability in order to have the respect of the public,” read the decision, suggesting Gales’ “numerous negative encounters with the law” would stand in the way of him fulfilling the duties of a police officer.