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Forfeiture of Public Office Conviction Affirmed


by in Criminal Appeals

State v. Dana Rone, ? N.J. Super. ?, 2009 N.J. Super. LEXIS 250 (December 9, 2009) – Conviction for obstruction of justice and forfeiture of public office affirmed. “The first question, analytically, is whether defendant’s conviction … touched on her position as a member of the City Council….

Defendant stresses that the record does not contain any findings of dishonesty or untrustworthiness on her part; this, she contends, demonstrates that her actions on the night in question do not touch on her office.

This, however, is not the test enunciated by the McCann [167 N.J. 311 (2001)] Court; an offense touches on an individual’s office if it flows from that office…. Here, … , defendant repeatedly announced her public position and pointed to her use of a municipal vehicle.

She used her position to denigrate the university’s police force, and dissatisfied with the manner in which the university police were responding to her, summoned what she termed the ‘real’ police, the City’s municipal police. We agree with the trial court that defendant’s offense did indeed touch on her position as a member of the city council.”

With regard to possible waiver of forfeiture under N.J.S.A. 2C:51-2(e), “We are satisfied that defendant’s threshold analysis, that is, that the critical question is whether good cause exists to waive forfeiture, is correct and that the State’s position, that the prosecutor’s decision to seek waiver is entitled to enhanced deference, is incorrect. That defendant applies the correct analytical framework does not advance her cause, however, for we are equally satisfied that good cause was not demonstrated.” (Patricia Bombelyn)

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