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NJ Assemblyman Denies Consuming Alcohol Despite DWI Charge

Legislator Paul Moriarty Says The 'Entire Episode Was An Abuse Of Power'
Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (credit: njleg.state.nj.us)

Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (credit: njleg.state.nj.us)

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WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New Jersey legislator has been charged with drunken driving after being pulled over in his hometown in Gloucester County.

Assemblyman Paul Moriarty was stopped late Tuesday afternoon in Washington Township, where he once served as mayor. Police said they charged him with driving while intoxicated, refusal to submit to a breath-alcohol test and failure to maintain lanes.

Moriarty, 55, issued a statement denying the charges and saying he may file a complaint over his treatment with the police department’s internal affairs unit.

“Let me be clear: I had consumed no alcoholic beverages, and this entire episode was an abuse of power,” he said.

Moriarty said he was stopped by an officer who claimed he had cut the officer off at an intersection. He said when he disputed the claim, he was ordered out of his car, given a field sobriety test and issued a summons.

Washington Township police said he was placed under arrest and transported to the police department for processing.

The assemblyman said the officer who stopped him was once fired for allegedly being untruthful in an internal affairs investigation, and later reinstated by a court.

Police Chief Rafael Muniz is aware of his claims of officer misconduct, and any complaint will be investigated under guidelines established by the attorney general, the department said.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)