Annmarie Fertoli is an Associate Producer at WNYC, working with the afternoon news team to produce All Things Considered.
2 NJ Troopers Suspended Amid Highway Escort Probe
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
New Jersey officials are investigating allegations that state troopers escorted “high-end” sports cars, without permission, along several state highways last month.
The state attorney general’s office announced on Monday that two officers — Sergeant First Class Nadir Nassry, 47, and Trooper Joseph Ventrella, 28 — have been suspended without pay. The commander at Totowa Station has also been transferred.
Paul Loriquet, with the attorney general’s office, said authorities were tipped off to the escort by motorists who filed complaints and alleged that the caravan was travelling at high-speed. He said those reports haven’t been confirmed, as the investigation is ongoing. The caravan allegedly rode on the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and the Atlantic City Expressway.
“Escorts are designed to protect and enhance public safety,” Loriquet said. “In this situation, allegedly, this escort compromised public safety.”
Loriquet could not confirm reports in the Star Ledger newspaper that former New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs was part of the caravan. His agent, Justin Schulman, was not immediately available for comment.
“This mission of the state police is to ensure the safety and security of the people of New Jersey, and the overwhelming majority of troopers nobly and responsibly do fulfill that mission,” Loriquet said. “We will not let the acts of a few tarnish the entire force.”
Loriquet added that “those responsible will face serious discipline.”