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Old 04-17-2012, 07:32 AM   #1
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Default Why is Herman Rivera running for Sheriff?

Herman Rivera should have been barred from ever working in law enforcement again. He gave all real law enforcement a bad name. What's hilarious about this idiot is that he wants everyone to believe that he is not running just to take votes away from Arnold. Why would Rivera go against Fontoura the man who gave him his job back.

Retired Essex County detective to run against longtime sheriff

Published: Monday, April 16, 2012, 8:00 PM
Eunice Lee/The Star-Ledger By Eunice Lee/The Star-Ledger

Another former law enforcement official has declared his candidacy against longtime Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura.

Herman Rivera is a retired detective from the Essex County Sheriff’s Officewho says he already has plans for how to improve the department.

If elected, Rivera, 49, says he plans to revamp the bureau of narcotics and "create a working partnership between parents, clergy, chiefs of police and civil leaders."

Fontoura, 68, running for his eighth three-year term, is heavily favored in the June 5 primary and has the backing of the Essex Democratic machine. Rivera, also faces candidates John Arnold Jr., a retired captain of detectives for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and Montclair Deputy Mayor Roger Terry.

A Democrat and lifelong Newark resident with 20 years at the sheriff’s office, Rivera acknowledges he had his own brush with the law in the late 1990s.

Rivera was one of four county law enforcement officials who were part of the prosecutor’s narcotics task force who were named as defendants in a case involving an illegal drug raid in East Orange in 1998. A judge had denied a search warrant the day before.

His three co-defendants, all investigators from the prosecutor’s office, pleaded guilty while Rivera was allowed to enter a pre-trial intervention program, which does not require an admission of guilt. Rivera said the incident has been expunged from his record.

After being suspended without pay for 13 months, Rivera said, he returned to his job at the sheriff’s department at the recommendation of the-then attorney general. He retired 10 years later.

"Unfortunately it was something that occurred. There’s nothing positive about it," Rivera said today. "Truth is, I got my job back. There was no wrongdoing on my part."
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:42 AM   #2
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Default Herman Rivera's Indictment

3 Essex prosecutor aides indicted in search coverup

Dawn S. Onley Star-Ledger Staff
Published: July 22, 1999

Three investigators with the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and a sheriff's detective were indicted yesterday on charges they conducted an illegal search last year and then conspired to cover up the incident.

The 10-count indictment, which marks the latest chapter in the problems swirling around the prosecutor's office, stems from a year-long investigation by the state Attorney General's Office. The state now oversees the prosecutor's financial and personnel matters following charges that Prosecutor Patricia A. Hurt mismanaged the office's finances.

Indicted yesterday were former Deputy Chief Priscilla Corcoran, 56, of Cedar Grove; Capt. Darrell Dunson, 41, of Newark; Investigator Thomas Smith, 35, of Fords, and Sheriff's Detective Herman Rivera, 36, of Newark.

The indictment stems from a May 7, 1998, incident in which the four county investigators entered and searched the East Orange apartment of Victor Hurt.

Hurt, who is no relation to the prosecutor, was being sought in a narcotics investigation. Drugs and guns were found in his apartment and he was arrested.

However, the investigators did not have a warrant from the courts to conduct the search, and according to the indictment, Dunson allegedly "used physical force on (Hurt) for the purpose of coercing his consent to search," according to Paul Zoubek, first assistant Attorney General and director of the Division of Criminal Justice.

The indictment charges that when the investigators were ques-tioned as to the legality of the search, they realized they had a problem and conspired to fabricate a story that would justify their actions.

The indictment states that when Corcoran asked her fellow investigators, "What can we do about it?" Rivera suggested to Corcoran, Dunson and Smith, as well as another unindicted co-conspirator, that "a false factual scenario be created to justify the law enforcement officers' unlawful presence."

Dunson is charged with directing Smith to file the false report, which was approved by Corcoran, the high-est ranking officer on the scene.

Corcoran and Dunson were two of Prosecutor Hurt's top appoint-ments after she was sworn into office last January. Corcoran was the first female to be appointed to the title of deputy chief of investigations in Essex County. She and Hurt were one-time best friends. The two became close when Hurt was an assist- ant prosecutor in Essex County in the 1980s assigned to the Child Abuse Unit and Corcoran worked alongside her as an investigator.

Prosecutor Hurt could not be reached for comment.

The four defendants face various counts of conspiracy, official misconduct, obstructing the administration of law, falsifying records and tamper-ing with records in the indictment. In addition, Dunson and Smith are charged with official misconduct, and Smith is charged with perjury and false swearing.

The defendants, if convicted on all counts, face up to 20 years in prison. Smith faces a maximum fine of more than $500,000; Dunson faces fines of up to $480,000; and Corcoran and Rivera each faces fines totaling $330,000.

Attorney General John J. Farmer Jr. had harsh words for the indicted officers.
"Law enforcement officers take a sworn oath to protect the public and uphold the law," Farmer said in statement. "When that oath is broken, it taints and dishonors all of law en-forcement and the public loses its confidence in the police officer."

Smith, who does not have an at torney, questioned why others law enforcement officials were not indicted.

"Nine guns, 2 ounces of cocaine and over $13,000 seized. That's a lot," Smith said of the items seized from Victor Hurt's apartment.

"Even though the way we went about it was wrong, why indict four when there was more?" Smith said. The other people who were involved, he said, "made deals with the state. That's why they are not indicted."

Yesterday, Victor Hurt's attorney, Richard Roberts of West Orange, said his client would file a civil suit within the next month. Roberts declined to say who would be named in the suit.

But attorneys for Dunson, Corco ran and Rivera proclaimed their cli-ents' innocence.
"She's disappointed that she's been indicted, but does look forward to answering these charges," said John McDonald, Corcoran's Somer- ville attorney. "She's been a member of the law enforcement and judicial community in Essex County for over 30 years. She enjoys a reputation of an honest, hard-working government official and we look forward to restor-ing her reputation."

John J. O'Reilly, the Morristown attorney for Dunson, said his client "is looking forward to his day in court. This has been hanging over his head since back in August. He really hasn't had an opportunity to re-spond."

Newark Attorney Anthony Pope, who represents Rivera, said the case should have gone before a judge to decide whether it was an illegal search and seizure.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura said Rivera has worked in his office since 1988 and has been assigned to the narcotics bureau since 1991. He was suspended without pay yesterday.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:51 AM   #3
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Default Herman Rivera's Co-Defendent Admits Rivera's Role In Criminal Activity

Ex-prosecutor's staffer admits illegal drug search

William Kleinknecht Star-Ledger Staff
Published: June 17, 2000

A former investigator for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office admitted in court yesterday that he and three others illegally searched the home of a drug suspect without a warrant and that he lied to a grand jury to cover up the crime.

In pleading guilty in Superior Court in Newark, Thomas Smith agreed to testify against his co-defendants in the case, who include Priscilla Corcoran, the former deputy chief of investigations in the prosecutor's office.

Smith pleaded guilty to false swearing and falsifying records. Deputy Attorney General Shelia Ellington said that in exchange for his testimony, the state would drop the more serious charges of official misconduct, conspiracy and perjury and recommend that he receive no jail time.

The plea agreement also requires that Smith never again work as a law enforcement officer or public employee.

Superior Court Judge Donald Merkelbach set sentencing for July 17. He is expected to give the defendant probation, fines and 150 hours of community service.

The charges stem from a raid that the prosecutor's narcotics task force conducted in a drug suspect's home at 32 Beech St. in East Orange on May 7, 1998. A judge had denied the investigators a search warrant for the raid the day before, but they went to the home anyway.

In his plea yesterday, Smith said that he, Corcoran and the other two defendants - Capt. Darrel Dunson, the head of the narcotics task force, and Herman Rivera, a detective in the county sheriff's department went to the home planning to search without a warrant.

Under questioning by his lawyer, Felix Lopez-Montalvo, Smith said they created a story that the suspect, Victor Hurt, was out front when they arrived and dropped a bag with 51 vials of cocaine on the ground as he fled inside.
"It wasn't true," he said. "We made it up."

Smith said he prepared a report with the false information and, on Aug. 10, 1998, lied to the grand jury about the circumstances of Hurt's arrest. Hurt was indicted on the drug charges, but the case has since been dismissed.

The investigation of the four defendants was one of the issues that led the state Attorney General's Office to strip former Prosecutor Patricia Hurt of most of her power in July 1989. She resigned a month later and her acting successor, Donald Campolo, has revamped the narcotics task force.

Patricia Hurt had hand-picked Corcoran and Dunson for their high-level positions despite complaints from others in the office that they did not have the experience to handle them.

Victor Hurt, who is not related to the former prosecutor, filed a lawsuit against the county and the prosecutor's office in April. He alleges that the investigators beat him after they entered his home and coerced him into signing a form that said he had consented to the search.

The suit claims that while Corcoran was at 32 Beech St. during the raid, she kept in constant contact with Patricia Hurt by cell phone.

Corcoran, Dunson and Rivera are expected to go on trial in the fall.
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