FREEHOLD – A 27-year veteran of the Freehold Township Police Department has admitted to illegally accessing information from a law-enforcement computer database for personal use, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Friday.
Lt. John Todd, 58, pleaded guilty to a count of third-degree Computer Theft during a Friday morning hearing before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Jill Grace O’Malley.
An investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crime Unit revealed that on February 23, 2022, for personal reasons, Todd contacted a police radio dispatcher asking for personal information about an individual from the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS), a database that exists strictly for law-enforcement purposes. Todd then passed that information along to a third party, who was not a member of law enforcement.
Under the terms of Todd’s plea, he will permanently forfeit public employment in New Jersey, receive a term of probation, and pay nearly $1,000 in fines. Todd will also apply to enroll in New Jersey’s Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI), which provides first-time offenders with opportunities for alternatives to traditional prosecution. Had he proceeded to indictment and trial, Todd could have faced up to five years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
The case was assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crimes Unit. Todd was represented by Frank Cioffi, Esq.
“Regardless of rank, there is no place within law enforcement for conduct such as this,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “The vast majority of officers countywide routinely serve the public with integrity and honor, risking their own lives on the job every single day. Actions such as those of Lt. Todd unfortunately make the work they do all the more challenging, particularly when it comes to gaining and maintaining the trust and respect of the citizens who depend on them.”
“The Freehold Township Police Department is committed to our residents and the integrity of all interactions between my officers and the public we serve. We fully support the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and their efforts adjudicating a difficult situation in which one of my officers violated the law,” Freehold Township Police Chief George K. Baumann added. “This breach of trust is an isolated incident, and does not define us or distract us from our primary goal of serving the residents and visitors of our community.”
Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, November 18.