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Middlesex County’s Chief Warrant Officer Suspended For Throwing Something at a Fellow Officer

Sheriff: Candice Burgess Has Been Suspended Without Pay For Six Days
Candice Burgess
Candice Burgess' suspension is just the latest development in an embattled law enforcement agency. Charlie Kratovil

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Officials confirmed that Candice Burgess, the Chief Warrant Officer at the embattled Middlesex County Sheriff's Department, has been suspended without pay.

According to multiple sources, while inside her Livingston Avenue office, Burgess threw an object--possibly a pen--at a Sergeant in the department.

Sheriff Mildred Scott confirmed the suspension on May 27, but it's not clear when the suspension started, or what the reason was for the suspension.

"The suspension was for 6 days," said Scott.

"It was a personnel matter."

Sources inside the department said they believe the incident occurred last week and agreed that, whatever was thrown at the sheriff's Sgt. drew blood when it struck him, possibly in the head.

"Burgess threw an object at Sgt Smith in their office and cut his head open," said one source.

Burgess, who hails from Montclair, failed the test to become a lieutenant, telling the Home News Tribune's Sergio Bichao it was "devastating."

But Scott rescued her career, promoting her to the same Chief Warrant Officer position she had once held under the prior Sheriff, who went to jail for selling police jobs.

"It's a little weird, but it's a great honor," she told the newspaper. "When the sheriff leaves, I can go back to being a sergeant."

Up for re-election this year, Scott has now seen two of her top supporters within the department come under fire in 2016.

The news of Burgess' suspension comes one month after New Brunswick Today reported rumors were swirling about the way the agency handled an arrest warrant at the home of Undersheriff Kevin Harris.

In response to this coverage, it's not clear if Scott or anyone else investigated Harris.

But one thing Scott definitely did was create a new, two-sentence department policy preventing sheriff's officers from "releasing information to the media."

"All requests for information from the media shall be forwarded directly to the Sheriff.  The Sheriff is the only person authorized to release any information to the media."

Sources tell us the policy was put in place on April 29, three days after the NBToday article about Harris, but that it was backdated purposely to avoid the impression that it was a response to our coverage.

"It is predated from your article so as to not look like it's because of it," said one source.

Scott was the handpicked successor to Joseph Spicuzzo, who left office in 2010, one year before he was charged with charging bribes to hire investigators for the department.  He was released last year.

Scott had been accused of targeting officers who had helped the State Police build their case against Spicuzzo.

"The people in power have changed, but the game is still played the same way," said one former officer who was forced out by Scott and Burgess.  "Some people are favored and some are targeted."