The 106 indictable cases that were not referred to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office resulted from three days of court backlog when a municipal court employees took sick leave, said government officials on Tuesday night.
“Someone was sick,” said acting finance director Fabiana Mello. She said this created a three-day backlog of complaints which resulted in the 106 indictable cases not being transferred to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.
The city’s annual audit found the 106 cases were not referred for prosecution as of September 23rd, 2015.
“Because someone was sick we had 106 – we’re not talking 10, 12, 15, or 20. The keyword is indictable complaints that were not referred to the prosecutor’s office,” stated Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large.
Mello said the court receives 33 complaints per day.
“They have now corrected that,” she said.
The finance director said the court employees have been cross trained to prevent similar scenarios from occurring in the future.
“It appears as though it may seem like a great deal,” said business administrator Nellie Pou noting the 106 is 3 days’ worth of complaints. She said a full report will be generated for council members when a corrective action is voted on by the council sometime in the future.
Morris asked whether the delay would impact the prosecution of the cases.
Law director Domenick Stampone said the three-day delay would not impact prosecution. “The delay, in this case, would have no bearing on prosecution of the cases,” he said.
“Majority of indictable offenses have statute of limitation of five years,” said Stampone. “The term indictable is extremely wide ranging,” he said. It ranges from first-degree offenses like homicide, sexual assault, to simple theft of $200-$500, said Stampone.
Pou said the indictable case report is being monitored and supervised to avoid a recurrence.
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