A senior correctional police officer at the state prison in Newark was also a member of two outlaw motorcycle gangs, said authorities who charged him with lying about it to keep his job.
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Ruben Morales, 41, of Orange, lied about being in the “Thug Riders” and “Thunderguards” when he applied to renew his state-issued identification card last year, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said Tuesday.
“The card identifies him as a law enforcement officer, grants him access to state buildings, and marks him as an emergency responder,” Grewal said.
“The renewal process requires the completion, certification, and submission of an application that answers several questions related to the suitability of the employee to maintain employment,” the attorney general added.
Morales lied when asked on the form whether he was affiliated with or a member of any subversive groups or gangs, he said.
Morales has been suspended from his job with the Department of Corrections, where he had a salary of $85,105 in 2019, according to state records.
On August 13, 2020 authorities charged Morales with third-degree tampering with public records or information and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records following a joint investigation by the New Jersey Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division and Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA).
The Department of Corrections also suspended Morales from his job at Northern State Prison — across from Newark Airport — pending the outcome of the case. He had a salary of $85,105 in 2019, according to state records.