MONROE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An Edison police officer was arrested and charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated arson, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office announced on Thursday.
Michael A. Dotro, 35, was arrested earlier in the day after he allegedly set fire to the home of Edison Police Department Capt. Mark Anderko.
The charges came on the heels of an intensive investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Monroe Township Police Department.
Dotro was suspended with pay, his bail was set at $5 million, and if released he will have to surrender his firearms and passport, prosecutors said.
Anderko was at home with his wife, children, and 92-year-old mother, early on Monday morning, when authorities were alerted to the fire.
The fire caused extensive damage to the two-story home, but did not result in any injuries, prosecutors said.
An attorney for Dotro, a nine-year veteran, told NJ.com that he was shocked by the allegations.
“I find it utterly incomprehensible to believe that Mike, who I’ve known in his capacity as PBA representative, could ever be involved in anything like this,” Lawrence Bitterman said.
Internal strife at the Edison Police Department dates back years, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported. Allegations of misconduct and mismanagement have been so serious the department is the focus of wide-ranging investigation. However, investigators did not say how they linked Dotro to his alleged crime.
There are unanswered questions as to what will become of the $20,000 reward offered by the New Jersey Police Benevolent Association, Carlin reported.
In a statement, its president, Tony Wieners, said: “If the Middlesex County Prosecutor determines the reward generated information that led to the suspect’s capture then NJ Cop Shot will pay the reward. When I authorized the reward there were rumors about who may have been involved.”
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