May 21, 2020
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that three Lawrence Township police officers face criminal charges as a result of an internal affairs investigation.
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted by Lawrence Township police earlier this month regarding allegations of deceptive conduct and falsification of records by three of its officers in the pursuit of personal interests.
The investigation revealed that the officers engaged in intentional misrepresentations of their actual locations, which included falsifying reports and records. One of the officers is also accused of realigning his in-car video recorder. – These officers allowed their purely personal interests to infect the proper performance of their legal obligations as police officers.
As a result of the investigation, Officer Hector Nieves, 44, was charged with falsifying government records, tampering with records, and violation of Governor’s Executive Order No. 118. Officer Liubove Bjorklund, 32, was charged with falsifying government records and violation of Governor’s Executive Order No. 118. Officer Timothy Wallace, 28, was charged with falsifying government records. All three officers were served summons complaints Thursday morning.
It was determined that Nieves falsely documented his location in CAD records on 19 occasions between March 21, 2020 and May 11, 2020. He violated an executive order by entering the New Jersey Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park in Princeton on April 23, 2020, while the park was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for a purpose unrelated to any official function or capacity. It was also discovered that, on multiple occasions, Nieves altered the view of the camera in his assigned patrol vehicle so that it did not capture him covertly meeting with an off-duty female police officer. In one incident, the camera’s position was altered so that it would not record Nieves and the off-duty officer meeting or entering the closed park, thereby concealing the unlawful conduct.
Bjorklund is charged with falsifying her location in meal break CFS documents on 11 occasions between March 20, 2020 and May 4, 2020. She also violated an executive order by entering the New Jersey Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park in Princeton on April 23, 2020, while the park was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for a purpose unrelated to any official function or capacity.
Wallace is charged with falsely documenting his location in a CAD record on May 4, 2020.
Tampering with records is a fourth-degree charge. Violation of an executive order and falsifying government records are disorderly persons offenses.
All three officers have been suspended from the police department without pay.