Upbraiding the prosecution for behavior that "shocks the conscience," a New Jersey judge has dismissed the remaining count of official misconduct against former Hackensack Police Chief Ken Zisa.
Bergen County Superior Court Presiding Judge Susan Steele found on Aug. 23, 2016 that "the state vaulted the threshold of prosecutorial misconduct to goad defendant to seek a mistrial not once, but repeatedly, five times."
Steele harshly criticized the case’s lead assistant prosecutor, noting he ignored the rules of evidence.
She termed as "inconceivable” the "notion that the prosecutor, in good faith, believed the inflammatory and prejudicial statements he completely derailed the trial with in his opening statement were admissible."
In 2015, the Appellate Division directed an acquittal for insurance fraud, affirmed dismissal of three official misconduct counts, reversed the remaining official misconduct charge, and left room for Zisa’s attorney to make further motions.
MARC partner Patricia Prezioso did just that, and Zisa’s motion to dismiss the remaining charge was granted on double jeopardy and fairness grounds.
Suzanne M. Murphy, of counsel at MARC, and Louis C. Formisano, an associate, assisted Prezioso. Read the news release, the Aug. 23, 2016 Superior Court ruling and the July 31, 2015 Appellate Division ruling in State of New Jersey v. Charles Kenneth Zisa.