South District Commander Nicola Flora on modified duty, Internal Affairs Chief Joseph Connors retiring

Capt. Nicola Flora, the South District commander, has been placed on modified duty while Deputy Chief Joseph Connors – who oversaw the Internal Affairs Unit – is retiring amid an expanding federal probe of the Jersey City Police Department, according to sources.

Nicola Flora - Joseph Connors

Captain Nicola Flora – Deputy Chief Joseph Connors

Within a month, Capt. Nicola Flora, the Jersey City Police Department’s (JCPD) South District commander, went from interviewing for police chief multiple times to being placed on modified duty by the person who ultimately got the job.

Confirmed by sources, Flora has been placed on modified duty by new JCPD Chief Michael Kelly. The administrative move indicates that Flora – who was promoted and made commander under Mayor Steven Fulop, Public Safety Director James Shea and ex-Chief Philip Zacche – is likely under investigation for criminal misconduct.

It’s unknown at this time who will replace Flora as the South District commander.

Given recent events, it’s believed Kelly’s actions are the result of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) probe of JCPD off-duty jobs. By being placed on modified duty, Flora will continue to be paid his regular salary as he faces investigation and potential prosecution.

The shocking turn of events follows ex-Chief Philip Zacche pleading guilty to federal corruption charges related to the Jersey City Housing Authority’s (JCHA) off-duty security program. Of note, the FBI’s investigation into the JCHA off-duty program stems from a Real Jersey City report detailing Zacche’s no-show job in Marion Gardens, though, pay records obtained from the JCHA via Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request – from July 2013 to November 2014 – did not include Flora.

Also of note, Flora was the subject of a Real Jersey City investigation into double-dipping which included the Fulop Administration producing fraudulent documents via OPRA.

Furthermore, Flora is the nephew of ex-JCPD officer Juan Romaniello – the first to plead guilty to charges stemming from the FBI’s investigation of JCPD off-duty jobs. It’s also believed, according to sources, that Raymond Meyer, a top Jersey City construction official, is the uncle of Flora, by marriage.

On top of Flora, sources say Deputy Chief Joseph Connors and Captain Fred Younger, allegedly a Zacche loyalist working in the chief’s office, have both decided to retire after being transferred to patrol by Kelly following Real Jersey City’s analysis of Zacche’s guilty plea. Connors, in his position as chief of operations, oversaw the JCPD’s Internal Affairs Unit (IA).

As cited in the aforementioned piece, it’s believed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General (HUD IG), is investigating the circumstances surrounding an affordable housing apartment that Connors’ son, a JCPD officer, resided in with another JCPD officer.

The Fulop Administration, which has never responded to questions from Real Jersey City, was not asked for comment on this story.

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