NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – In the latest scandal to rock the city’s embattled police department, Andrew Ferrazzoli, a civilian employee of the NBPD, quietly resigned two weeks ago following a drug charge he picked up in Franklin Township.
As part of an operation spearheaded jointly by Somerset and Middlesex Counties dubbed “Operation: Corridor Crackdown,” over 30 people were arrested and charged with buying or selling cocaine along the Route 27 corridor on February 17.
In the days leading up to that major raid, Ferrazoli was caught possessing a “controlled dangerous substance” in Franklin according to court documents.
Criminal charges were filed in Somerset County on February 22, listing the date of the offense as February 12. Mr. Ferrazzoli tendered his resignation to the department shortly thereafter.
NBPD public information officer JT Miller did not respond to a phone message, nor did the secretary for police director Anthony Caputo. Mayor Jim Cahill’s spokesperson Russell Marchetta has not responded to messages left at his City Hall office.
Civilian employees in the department typically are dispatchers or handle administrative tasks such as processing applications for gun permits. Ferrazzoli was the “services office manager” and supervised the department’s vehicle fleet maintenance and purchasing.
Though he was not one of the department’s 139 sworn officers, Ferrazzoli earned $6,834 on the department payroll in 2010, the year he was hired, according to MyCentralJersey.com’s DataUniverse. It is not immediately clear what his annual salary was.
What is clear is that the administration made no effort to publicize this debacle, perhaps because of Ferrazzoli’s ties to powerful people in the department. Sources said he was the best man at former Police Director Joe Catanese’s wedding.
Catanese is listed as Mr. Ferrazzoli’s attorney on the court documents.
Ferrazzoli was indicted in 2004 for conspiracy and possession of cocaine, also in Franklin Township, six years before the department hired him. He was sentenced to three years probation and paid over $1,000 in fines, after he was rejected from a pretrial intervention program.
Ferrazzoli is a member of the 1978 graduating class at St. Peter’s High School and a Rutgers alum, according to his Facebook page.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.