Published in the Courier News, Friday, June 12, 2009 (A-1)
Cop faces insurance fraud charges
20-year division veteran suspended
By MARK SPIVEY
PLAINFIELD -- A 20-year veteran with the city's police division has been suspended without pay after being charged with insurance fraud, Public Safety Director Martin Hellwig said Thursday.
Officer David Thomas was charged with second-degree insurance fraud in connection with a homeowner's claim involving a computer, according to Hellwig.
A Union County Prosecutor's Office spokesman confirmed the charge Thursday but said no additional information was immediately available.
Thomas is entitled to a hearing within 30 days, said Hellwig, who added that the division plans to terminate him in the case of a conviction.
Calling Thomas a "good officer," Hellwig said the veteran cop worked in a "very critical area" of the division, helping compile Uniform Crime Reports, gather intelligence and issue daily reports.
The suspension may further strain the division's administrative ranks, Hellwig added, because of the recent retirement of two lieutenants and a captain.
Mark Spivey: 908-243-6607; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Plainfield resident since 1983. Retired as the city's Public Information Officer in 2006; prior to that Community Programs Coordinator for the Plainfield Public Library. Founding member and past president of: Faith, Bricks & Mortar; Residents Supporting Victorian Plainfield; and PCO (the outreach nonprofit of Grace Episcopal Church). Supporter of the Library, Symphony and Historic Society as well as other community groups, and active in Democratic politics.