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NJ police chief pleads guilty to lying about affair with subordinate, leading to courtroom confrontation with PBA: report

nj-police-chief-pleads-guilty-to-lying-about-affair-with-subordinate,-leading-to-courtroom-confrontation-with-pba:-report
NJ police chief pleads guilty to lying about affair with subordinate, leading to courtroom confrontation with PBA: report

A disgraced former New Jersey police chief admitted in court Monday to having an affair with a subordinate, then lying about it to a special counsel hired by his town to investigate the rumors — which led the local PBA head to mock him as a “felon” in a courtroom confrontation.  

Andrew Kudrick, the 50-year-old former chief of the Howell Police Department, pleaded guilty to an obstruction of justice charge for his crimes, which included denying his rule-breaking extramarital fling in a January 2022 interview with the counsel, according to the Asbury Park Press.

But even though Kudrick — who suddenly retired in March 2022, two years before his contract was up — has fled the department, his former officers haven’t forgiven or forgotten.

Andrew Kudrick, a former NJ police chief.

Andrew Kudrick, a former NJ police chief, reportedly pleaded guilty to obstruction for lying about an affair with a subordinate. Thomas P. Costello / Asbury Park Press / USA TODAY NETWORK

Several PBA members reportedly lined the back of the courtroom as their former leader lodged a guilty plea that could land him in jail for more than a year — but will likely just mean probation, the Press said.

“You’re a clown,” the salty former chief told James Alexander, the union president, as he left the courtroom.

“But you’re a felon,” Alexander shot back, according to the outlet.

Last year, the state Attorney General’s Office hit the former chief with an avalanche of charges stemming from the cover-up, including misconduct, false swearing, tampering with public records, witness tampering and obstruction.

The deal let him plead guilty to obstruction and dropped the other charges, the Press said.

Kudrick will be permanently barred from public employment as a condition of his plea — and could be charged with contempt of court if he even applies for a public job, state Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon told him in court.

Judge Paul Escandon

Judge Paul Escandon told the disgraced chief that he could be charged with contempt of court for even applying for a public job, according to the plea deal. Thomas P. Costello / Asbury Park Press / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kudrick in court

Kudrick had a courtroom confrontation with members of his own PBA after he called the union president a “clown.” Thomas P. Costello / Asbury Park Press / USA TODAY NETWORK

A special labor counsel hired by Howell Township — a sprawling, 63-square-mile South Jersey town of about 60,000 — first began investigating the 30-year cop after Kudrick’s wife and his alleged mistress got into a confrontation at a 2021 retirement party, the Press said.

But when the counsel interviewed him, Kudrick lied and denied the affair.

The chief — who was making about $234,000 to run the department — was also accused of threatening an internal affairs investigation into a captain who had proof of his misdeeds.

His officers turned on him — with the local police union holding a no-confidence vote in December 2021 because morale was reportedly at an all-time low.

Alexander, the union head, said Kudrick’s plea was “some level of vindication for our membership after all the chaos and turmoil,” the Press said.

Kudrick in court.

The plea could put him behind bars — but will likely only result in probation. Thomas P. Costello / Asbury Park Press / USA TODAY NETWORK

“We just felt it was important to come and bear witness to him finally admitting guilt,” he told the outlet. “It’s nice to finally see him take some responsibility for his actions.”

The former chief’s attorney, Robert A. Honecker, said Kudrick is “remorseful for his conduct.”

“He wishes to put this entire matter behind him,” the lawyer said.

Kudrick will be sentenced July 19.

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