In separate incidents the Sussex and the Warren County Sheriff departments were caught using county owned emergency generators in their personal homes.

In Sussex County, Undersheriff George DeOld resigned after getting caught appropriating two generators for his own use in November. Prior to his resignation DeOld was receiving a $97,000 salary and a $66,537 pension from a former police job in Patterson. It is unknown if his resignation was accepted in exchange for dropping the investigation. It may well turn out that he will add an additional amount to his pension from his Sheriff job.

Now the same thing has happened in Warren County. However in Warren County the names of the personnel involved is not being released.

Our action hero, John Paff is already on the case. According to the article here:

The Warren County Prosecutor's Office was reported to have looked into the matter but dropped it after determining that no crime in this instance had been committed. But in the opinion of open-government advocate John Paff, the question of whether a crime was committed should not impinge on the public's ability to learn the relevant facts of what happened.

"Just because you have an exercise of prosecutorial discretion not to prosecute should not necessarily have any bearing on the right of the public to know what's going on," he said. "Lots of times, the most important stories are those that involve prosecutors refusing to prosecute people who are in the system."

Paff, despite having lost a recent lawsuit seeking the release of an investigative report concerning High Point Superintendent John Hannum, has successfully sued numerous public bodies throughout the state over the past several years for their denial of access to public records. Several of these cases are chronicled online on his blog, titled "NJ Open Government Notes."

Paff, who chairs the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project, said he would consider filing a request for the details of what happened in this case as well.

According to that article there may be a similar investigation in Union County.

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