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AG: State Worker Faked State Position for Free Generator

Marcella Friedman lied about her job and demanded free goods from roadside vendors in Burlington County after Superstorm Sandy, state officials charge.

State employee Marcella Friedman allegedly posed as an inspector and coerced roadside vendors into giving her a free generator in the days after Superstorm Sandy.

Friedman, 49, told two roadside vendors set up in Springfield, Burlington County, that she was a state inspector capable of shutting down their sale of generators and fining them, according to Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa. The encounter happened on Oct. 31, just after the monster storm hit New Jersey.

Friedman, wearing a jacket with the New Jersey State Police logo and carrying a handheld radio, said she’d overlook the stand if the men gave her a free generator, Chiesa said. The vendors handed over an 8,500-watt generator, which Friedman gave to a relative. The relative reportedly sold the generator to an unknowing third party.

The suspect, who lives in Oaklyn, actually is a state worker, but not an inspector. She is a civilian employee of the state police and works as a communications system technician. She’s currently on disability, as she was during the alleged generator incident.

State records show Friedman was hired in 2001 as a state employee and earned a $58,507 salary in 2010 and $64,606 in 2012. She is based out of Ewing.

“It’s unconscionable that anyone would use their employment with a law enforcement agency or the trappings of that agency to unlawfully obtain a benefit, as alleged here,” Chiesa said. “We will not tolerate this type of misconduct, which has the potential to undermine public trust in law enforcement. The state police swiftly investigated and uncovered this alleged conduct.”

Friedman was charged Tuesday with third-degree theft by deception. If convicted, she faces a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine up to $15,000.

Diana January 16, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Agreed. Well said.
Pete January 16, 2013 at 07:28 PM
She doesn't look disabled. She looks ugly, but not disabled...........
nm4 January 17, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Pete, exactly what does disabled "look" like? Your small mindedness makes you sound stupid.
Lauren Burgoon January 17, 2013 at 06:47 PM
However she looks in anyone's opinion, also remember that this is the suspect's driver's license photo, not any kind of mug shot. In any story involving police where you see a blue background and a generally relaxed demeanor, you can probably assume it's the driver's license photo instead. (Provided by the state in this case.)
Greg Chomicz February 04, 2013 at 07:55 PM
How was she caught? Anybody?

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