A Mahwah municipal employee who’s been free on bail on charges of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl was busted for DWI while driving a township truck in Hawthorne, authorities confirmed.
Whether this will cost Brian Potter, 43, his freedom before trial had yet to be determined.
One of the stipulations of his bail release was that Potter refrain from consuming drugs or alcohol.
A Superior Court judge in Hackensack is scheduled to hear a request by Pre-Trial Services to revoke Potter's bail on March 18, an assistant Bergen County prosecutor said Thursday.
Potter was stopped on Lafayette Avenue in Hawthorne after a caller reported a 2012 Ford F350 truck bearing a “Township of Mahwah” logo being driven erratically, according to a Jan. 21 police report.
“The officers noticed an odor of an alcoholic beverage from the vehicle,” Detective Lt. Matthew Hoogmoed said Thursday.
Potter, who told them he was headed home from work, was “unable to pass the field sobriety tests and was arrested,” Hoogmoed said.
The divorced father of three had been allowed to take the truck home because he was on on call with the Water & Sewer Utilities division of the Mahwah Department of Public Works, township officials said Thursday.
He’s been confined to inside work since his arrest in Hawthorne, they said.
Hawthorne police charged Potter with DWI, DWI in a school zone and careless driving, Hoogmoed said. They released him to a responsible adult, under John's Law, and had Mahwah retrieve the truck.
How the arrest affects his freedom remains to be seen.
Bergen County prosecutor's detectives charged Potter on on July 7, 2017 with “inappropriately touching” a young girl four months earlier.
The official counts are aggravated sexual assault involving a victim under 13, sexual assault also involving a victim under 13 and child endangerment through "sexual conduct."
Potter spent 10 days in the Bergen County Jail before a judge in Hackensack determined that he wasn’t a threat to the community and released him, with conditions, pending trial on the charges.
Those conditions, among others, included not having any contact with the victim and not consuming drugs or alcohol.
Potter, who had no previous criminal record and a history of stable employment in his department, was initially granted a six-month leave of absence that required he use sick and vacation days.
He continued working for the township following his release but is no longer with the fire department, officials said.
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