WALL – A Wall Township Police Department Sergeant has been charged after allegedly stealing more than $75,000 from his local Police Benevolent Association (PBA) chapter, authorities said.
James R. Cadigan, 40, is charged with second-degree Theft by Unlawful Taking.
The Wall Township PBA Local No. 234 contacted authorities after noticing that a large amount of cash proceeds was missing following an annual fundraising event that was held earlier this year.
According to police, Cadigan was responsible for arranging and running the event in 2022 as well as previous years. The proceeds made from this event are donated to various charitable organizations.
Detectives discovered that Cadigan made numerous unauthorized cash withdrawals from multiple PBA bank accounts beginning in 2018. Cadigan also wrote checks to himself and to cash from these accounts.
At this time, the investigation is ongoing regarding the theft and how Cadigan used the PBA’s funds. Cadigan was served the charges against him via summons on December 16, pending future proceedings. He currently faces up to 10 years in state prison.
“Local police unions are so often the drivers of philanthropic and charitable endeavors, especially at this time of year, so it is deeply disheartening when any member of law enforcement leverages access to their funds in order to achieve personal financial gains,” Prosecutor Raymond Santiago said. “We hope that the charges being announced today send a clear message that any such conduct is wholly unacceptable, and will be thoroughly and dutifully investigated and prosecuted.”
“The criminal charge against Sgt. Cadigan is not reflective of the honor, integrity, and fidelity routinely exhibited by the sworn members of this Police Department, as they are about protecting and serving the public in the execution of their daily duties,” Wall Township Police Chief Sean O’Halloran added.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact MCPO Detective Brian Hammarstrom at 800-533-7443.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.