Ex-JCPD Chief Philip Zacche exonerated by Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office for Marion Gardens investigation
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office exonerated former Jersey City Police Department Chief Philip Zacche of wrongdoing following a Real Jersey City investigation into an alleged “no-show,” off-duty security detail in the Marion Gardens public housing complex.
On April 11, 2016, Real Jersey City published an investigation detailing an off-duty job former Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) Chief Philip Zacche claimed to have worked in the Marion Gardens public housing complex. Following that report, and an Open Letter to Governor Chris Christie, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office (HCPO) launched an investigation into Zacche (documented below).
This journalist declined to participate with the HCPO’s investigation for numerous reasons. At the time I specifically stated it’s “my belief that their investigation is nothing more than a political charade.”
Confirmed months ago by Lt. Matthew Gasiorowski, and mentioned in a recent Real Jersey City political column, the HCPO investigation of Zacche has since been completed and resulted in no criminal charges for him (or anyone else related to the Jersey City Housing Authority details or other Real Jersey City investigations).
In an email to HCPO spokesperson Ray Worrall, which has not received a response, Real Jersey City inquired about the nature of the prosecutor’s investigation. Specifically, Worrall was asked if the HCPO conducted a signature analysis of any of Zacche’s off-duty timesheets.
Additionally, the HCPO failed to answer whether Zacche was ever interviewed under oath, if they notified and/or requested assistance from state or federal law enforcement officials for their investigation, and whether the case went to a grand jury. They also didn’t respond to a question of whether publicly available photographs of Zacche were discovered during the course of their investigation, two of which are seen below.
Though unrelated, when Zacche served as the North District commander, he assigned former JCPD officer Juan Romaniello to be the district’s off-duty pick coordinator. Romaniello was the first JCPD cop to plead guilty to his role in an ongoing FBI investigation focused on corruption stemming from the JCPD’s off-duty jobs program.
Also of note, Zacche received statewide publicity – and sparked debate about taxpayer-funded “boat checks”for public workers in New Jersey – following news of his nearly $513,000 payment for “unused time” over the past 38 years.
When news of his retirement broke, Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement that Zacche’s “experience and leadership has steered us on a steady and upward path toward rebuilding the department and enhancing the important community relations that lead to a stronger and safer city.”
Furthermore, the HCPO posted a picture of Prosecutor Esther Suarez, Fulop and Zacche at his retirement party, and thanked the former chief “for his 38 years of service to Jersey City.”
— ProsecutorSuarezHCPO (@HCPOProsecutor) June 2, 2017