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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information:

July 14, 2006

Office of The Attorney General
- Zulima V. Farber, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Gregory A. Paw, Director

 

Peter Aseltine
609-292-4791

 
Former Hudson County Sheriff’s Officer Sentenced to Three Years
in Prison for Scheme to Cheat on Promotional Exam

TRENTON - Attorney General Zulima V. Farber announced that a former Hudson County sheriff’s officer was sentenced today for devising an elaborate scheme to cheat on a promotional exam for the position of sergeant in the sheriff’s office.

Division of Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw said that former Hudson County Sheriff’s Officer John Ramos, 48, of Bethlehem, Pa., was sentenced today to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Edward M. Neafsey of Monmouth County. Ramos also was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and was permanently barred from future government positions. Ramos pleaded guilty before Judge Neafsey on Oct. 31 to second-degree official misconduct.

“This defendant would stop at nothing to advance his law enforcement career, including breaking the laws he had sworn to uphold,” said Attorney General Farber. “This sentence sends a strong message that we will not tolerate those who use their official positions for corrupt purposes.”

Ramos’ accomplice, Damon P. Basano, 29, of North Bergen, a former state Department of Human Services police officer, was sentenced in April to five years in state prison after being convicted following a jury trial of multiple counts of official misconduct, tampering with public records or information, and falsifying or tampering with records.

A Division of Criminal Justice investigation determined that Ramos made arrangements to have Bassano impersonate him and take the sergeants promotional exam in his place on March 20, 2003. In order to carry out the scheme, Ramos created numerous fraudulent documents, including a Hudson County Sheriff’s Office credential with all of Ramos’ personal information, but bearing Bassano’s photograph; a fraudulent Hoboken Housing Authority identification; a duplicate, non-photo New Jersey driver’s license issued to Ramos; and a duplicate Social Security card issued to Ramos that he had Bassano sign as “John Ramos.” On the day of the exam, Bassano signed in for the test as Ramos, but he left before the test was administered because he recognized other sheriff’s officers from Hudson County.

In exchange for Bassano taking the test, Ramos had offered to forgive a debt of $200 to $500 and to assist Bassano in applying for a position in the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Sgt. Myles A. Cappiello, New Jersey State Police - Official Corruption Unit assigned to the Division of Criminal Justice - Special Prosecutions Bureau, and State Investigator Scott Donlan of the Division of Criminal Justice - Special Prosecutions Bureau. The case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Picione of the Special Prosecutions Bureau. The Hudson County Sheriff’s Office provided administrative assistance.

Additional information is available via the Division of Criminal Justice Web site at www.njdcj.org.

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