An Essex County prosecutor’s detective stuck a hidden GPS on a suspect’s vehicle without permission, then lied about where to find his county-issued cellphone when he was ordered to turn it in, state authorities said Friday.
Timothy Kealy, 27, of Bloomfield, was working with the prosecutor’s Narcotics Task Force when he bought and installed the tracking device without getting a supervisor’s permission to apply to a judge for a warrant, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said.
A court-issued warrant is required by law for law enforcement to install a GPS device on a vehicle.
Kealy was suspended as a result of the investigation and ordered by the prosecutor’s Professional Standards Bureau to surrender his weapon and various other items, including his county-issued phone, Grewal said.
Kealy “lied about the whereabouts of the county-issued phone, saying it was at a repair shop, in order to prevent PSB detectives from obtaining access to the phone,” the attorney general said. “The phone was not at the repair shop and has not been recovered.”
Grewal’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability charged Kealy with tampering with public records and hindering apprehension or prosecution.
He remained free pending a first court appearance.
Handling the case for the state is Deputy Attorney General Anthony Robinson of the Corruption Bureau in the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability.
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