A senior correctional officer from the Jersey Shore is accused of pepper spraying an inmate unjustly and then falsifying two reports about the incident, state authorities said.
Jovanny Galindo, 32, of Neptune City filed a "special custody" and "use of force" report, saying the inmate was sitting down at the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Wrightstown when the incident occurred.
Galindo reported that the inmate ignored an order and threatened him -- prompting Galindo to use the pepper-spray on June 16, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said on Thursday.
An investigation found Galindo's statements in both reports were false, and his use of force against the inmate was not authorized under the state Department of Corrections’ Use of Force Policy, Grewal said.
Galindo was charged Thursday by complaint-summons with conspiracy to tamper with public records or information, Grewal said.
The third-degree charge is the result of a joint investigation by the New Jersey Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division and the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA).
Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
The case is being prosecuted by the OPIA Corruption Bureau.
Grewal thanked the Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division for its work.
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