MEDIUM TWP. — A suspended detective with the Cape May County District Attorney’s Office has been charged with initiating and conducting what amounted to an unauthorized investigation into a relative’s car accident in a store parking lot.
Neither a statement from the New Jersey Attorney General’s office on Monday nor the text of the indictment itself stated the exact date the accident occurred or the relationship between the person involved in the accident and detective sergeant. Robert Harkins Jr., 49, of Wildwood Crest.
In December 2019 and January 2020, Harkins allegedly opened an investigation “specifically to identify the driver of the other vehicle, who left the scene without sharing information,” the statement said.
The OAG classified the extent of the accident as “minor”.
Regarding Harkins’ investigation, the Office of Public Integrity and State Accountability said he had not officially registered his actions in the CMCPO system, to avoid scrutiny by his superiors, and would also have subpoenaed the store outside of which the accident occurred. , used his connections to seek official information in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and submitted a 10-page report to the Middle Township Police Department.
That department reported Harkins’ alleged actions to its office, which in turn notified state authorities.
Harkins was originally charged in the case in May 2021, and the indictment obtained on Monday charges him with second-degree official misconduct, third-degree tampering with public documents or information, and tampering or tampering with of documents in the fourth degree.
The most serious charge carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison, including five years of mandatory parole ineligibility, and a maximum fine of $150,000.
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