A Bergen County correction officer is accused of giving contraband to a county jail inmate.
Authorities were purposefully vague about what they contend Jessica Stec, 28, of Elmwood Park, gave to the inmate while an investigation continues.
However, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella noted that charges of obstructing a governmental function and providing contraband both are disorderly person offenses.
Depending on the offense, a convicted defendant technically could be sentenced to up to six months of jail (not prison) time.
However, penalties for disorderly person convictions in New Jersey ordinarily carry fines, community service, probation -- and, in the case of a public employee, a ban on ever holding a governmental job again. They also remain on the offender's criminal record for life.
Stec was charged after an investigation by Musella's Confidential Investigations Unit and members of Sheriff Anthony Cureton’s staff, the prosecutor said.
More serious charges were possible, depending on what she allegedly gave the inmate.
FROM LAST NIGHT: Friends of a man shot in Paterson Friday night brought him to a Rochelle Park nursing home, where he was later pronounced dead, responders said.
Stec, who’s been with the sheriff’s office for four years, was suspended from duty on Friday pending the outcome of the case.
"Any allegation of misconduct is an immediate concern to me and my leadership team," Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton said. "While the investigation continues, we are taking all appropriate measures to assure that this kind of violation of our rules does not happen again."
Stec is scheduled for an Oct. 10 first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.
UPDATE: A West New York resident accused of shooting a man in the back in Cliffside Park last month was captured Wednesday in Pennsylvania by a strike force led by detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.
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