Bergen County Public Safety Director Ralph Rivera, who spent nearly 30 years as a state trooper, has been suspended with pay after a report that he tried to intervene in a DWI stop in Hackensack in March.
According to the police report, Rivera appeared on scene shortly after his friend Francisco Almonte was pulled over for failing to use a turn signal around 3:30 in the morning.
Rivera interrupted Officer Andrew Kara a total of four times, repeating his law enforcement credentials in an effort to keep his friend, Almonte, from being arrested.
Officer Kara explained that he would treat the situation the same as any other, and the incident eventually made it back to Rivera’s Bergen County bosses, who launched an investigation through the Bergen County Prosecutor’s office.
Almonte, whose blood alcohol level was ultimately recorded at .03%, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, while Rivera’s future remains in doubt. Rivera will be called as a witness in Almonte’s trial.
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