NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers officials finally confirmed on August 14 that Christopher Murray, an employee of the school's Emergency Services division who posted videos of himself speeding on public roadways, had been terminated two weeks earlier.
A letter emailed to this reporter by Rutgers officials following a public records request says that Murray was terminated on July 31, listing "End of Assignment" as the reason.
Videos posted to a BMW enthusiast group on Facebook showed Murray repeatedly driving recklessly in his private car on public roads. The vehicle a blue BMW M3 apparently had EMT license plates.
Perhaps the most surprising part of the story was that the videos were apparently recorded and posted by Murray himself, from a Facebook account that used his real name and identified his employer as Rutgers.
New Brunswick Today first alerted Rutgers to the videos on May 29, and then broke the story on June 15. Three days later, Channel 9's "Chasing News" made it the top story on their 10pm broadcast.
Murray's termination comes two months after an RUPD internal investigation was launched to investigate his own claims that a "PD buddy" of his helped shut down an onramp to a public highway.
"I had my PD buddy shut down the exit up ahead… rendering it temporarily private," Murray had written in a Facebook comment defending his actions.
RUPD determined that no police officers on their force blocked access any roadways to assist Murray on the night he videotaped himself driving at speeds of up to 150mph on what appears to be Route 18 in Piscataway.
The internal affairs investigation apparently was wrapped up on July 14, but it was still unclear what would come of Murray's paid job.
"My investigation was limited in scope as to whether a Rutgers University Police Employee was somehow involved in the matter," wrote Deputy Chief Mike Rein. "The investigation failed to reveal any indications of same, with the evidence which was developed, and therefore the investigative findings were 'unfounded.'"
Both RUPD and Rutgers Emergency Servics are part of the university's Administration and Public Safety division. It's not clear who, if anyone, investigated Murray's actions.
On July 20, Rein referred questions about whether Murray was still employed by Rutgers to the University Secretary, who directed this reporter to file a public records request.
The request was "both approved and denied" with the school declining to give out information about whether or not Murray had been suspended, and whether those suspensions were paid or unpaid.
According to a June 9 posting by someone claiming to be Murray, he was initially suspended for two weeks in early June. It is unclear if he ever returned to work for Rutgers before his termination.
Murray, a current Rutgers student, started the $25,056/year EMT job less than a year ago. His first day was October 21, 2014, according to public records.
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 and a community organizer, and an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.