Middlesex County Drug Court Probation Officer Out on Bail After Charges of Taking Bribes, Official Misconduct

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—State probation officer Rhonda Battle, age 46, has been charged with official misconduct and bribery after allegedly accepting an undisclosed amount of cash from an unidentified offender.

According to County Prosecutor Andrew Carey, the offender offered bribes to Battle in exchange for ensuring they passed drug tests and completed his probation.

"It is incumbent upon the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office to help maintain the integrity of the Drug Court, which offers a viable means of addressing the problems of addiction. The program will only continue to be successful if those who help administer it remain above reproach," Carey said.

Battle, a Union County resident, was assigned to work with offenders who were part of the Drug Court program at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick.

The Drug Court Program offers counseling, rehabilitation, and probationary terms as an alternative to incarceration for first time offenders of drug related crime.

An investigation led by Detective Nicholas Chiorello from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) found that Battle had taken the undisclosed amount of cash between January 1 and December 23 on various occasions.

The name of the drug offender who offered the bribes has not been disclosed, nor has the total amount of money involved.

Judge Bradley Ferencz, who is preparing to be retire next month, set Battle’s bail at $20,000 with the option to be released after posting 10 percent to a bail bonds agency.

Battle spent just one night in the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Facility, December 23, before being released on $2,050 bail on Christmas Eve.