Hudson Prosecutor investigating disappearance of cash from HCPO office

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez says she’s investigating the disappearance of cash – the proceeds of several cases – that has gone missing from her office.

Suarez announced Wednesday, April 7, she has ordered an immediate internal-affairs investigation into various denominations of cash recovered from several, separate cases have gone missing, all of which was recovered from scenes and was being temporarily held for safekeeping.

The money was kept in temporary storage in locked safes at the prosecutor’s office with limited access by investigative staff.

The Prosecutor’s Office Public Integrity Unit, Internal Affairs Section, will conduct the investigation. The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General was also notified by Suarez of the investigation. In addition to the internal affairs investigation, Suarez has also ordered a full audit of other cases and a review of the procedures for the safe keeping of cash and property.

“This is a sheer betrayal and disgrace of the sacred oaths taken by those who wear a badge and were involved in these appalling acts,” Suarez said. “What compounds this even more is the fact that members of the prosecutor’s office are held to an even higher standard when it comes to integrity and trust. Every angle will be examined and we are confident that we will find who was responsible for this and hold them accountable under the law.”

The investigation is in its very early stages, Suarez says, and it has not been determined yet if this was limited to one or more of the investigative staff. In order to allow the internal affairs investigation to take its course, no further information will be released at this time, Suarez says.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.