An appeals court has reinstated the convictions of two former employees of New Brunswick Parking Authority for failing to report or prevent other employees from stealing thousands of dollars in parking fees.
The two-judge panel reversed Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz, who threw out the jury verdict that convicted Emil Hanna and Emad Naguib in 2013 of official misconduct, reported NJ.com.
The appellate judges rejected Ferencz's argument that there was no written rule in the Security Procedures Manual or adopted by the parking authority that the men, who were security officers, had to report other security officers' thefts to the parking authority, said NJ.com.
The judges agreed with the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office that it was inherent in the position that both men held as security officers to report any illegal activity.
The judges pointed out that the security officers routinely spelled the cashiers at the parking booths when the cashiers took breaks and handled money from patrons, said NJ.com. "If security guards regularly handled money, they had a duty not to steal that money and not to allow co-workers to steal it," the judges said.
Prosecutors produced evidence during the trial that Hanna, a security sergeant and Naguib, a security officer, failed to report or prevent thefts committed by other employees between July 1, 2007 and June 15, 2010.
Three others pleaded guilty in connection with the thefts.
Authorities charged they stole between $5,000 and $75,000 in parking fees from automated payment machines and customers during their 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. shifts at the Ferren and Lower Church street parking decks.
The defendants argued they played no role in the theft of the money.