OLD BRIDGE, NJ–Ronald Franz led the Carteret Police Department for just over three weeks before was suspended without pay following a February 23 drunken driving arrest in Old Bridge.
Officials confirmed Franz was fired in March, after local police filed an additional charge related to the one-car crash.
Franz did not last long in the job, having come out of retirement to take the position on February 1.
Franz was previously a Captain with the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) and was briefly collecting a public salary and a$77,700 annual pension at the same time.
According to NJ.com’s Brian Amaral, Old Bridge Police Department (OBPD) said that Franz was traveling on Route 9 when he drove his 2015 Lexus off of the road at around 6:30pm on February 23.
Police took him back to headquarters and charged him with refusing to take a breathalyzer test, as well as reckless driving, improper passing, and obstructing traffic. OBPD later charged Franz with “eluding.”
Franz’s arrest is just the latest embarrassing public safety scandal to befall the administration of Mayor Dan Reiman.
In 2014, Reiman took heat for the borough’s decision to pay $1.1 million to settle a messy sexual harassment lawsuit that accused the Carteret Fire Department of a slew of violations.
In January, the local government lost in its costly attempt to fire a crossing guard who accused the Reiman administration of trumping up charges against her as part of a political vendetta.
The DWI was also not the first time that Franz found himself embroiled in controversy.
During his time with the NJSP, he had famously been sued by a Filipino State Trooper who accused him of racial discrimination and workplace harassment.
A federal judge ruled against the NJSP in 1998, in one of the first discrimination cases that forced the NJSP to enter into a consent decree with the federal government.
After a modern-day journalist learned about Franz’s checkered past, and asked Carteret’s local government about it, Franz finally lost his job. According to NJ.com’s Amaral:
On Wednesday afternoon, Carteret borough officials said Franz was still suspended without pay. An hour after NJ Advance Media asked about the discrimination lawsuit — and whether officials had known about it before he was hired — the borough said in an email that Franz had been fired.
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.