There are indications that an investigation is ongoing into Cape May County Sheriff Gary Schaffer.
Few details could be confirmed, but John Paff, an advocate for open government with New Jersey’s Libertarian party, said he is looking to either confirm or dispel rumors of an investigation.
On his blog NJ Open Government, Paff posted an OPRA request he sent to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in which he asked for the contents of the file pertaining to any investigation regarding Schaffer. He posted a response dated June 4 from Ocean County Assistant Prosecutor Nicholas Monaco, in which Monaco stated that immediately after Ocean County opened an investigation, it was taken over by the New Jersey State Police.
Contacted by telephone Tuesday, Schaffer said he would “not comment on a blog.”
In his Open Public Records Act request, Paff said that the investigation began in Ocean County to avoid a conflict of interest with the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office. Cape May County Prosecutor Robert Taylor did not immediately return a call for comment.
On Friday, June 20, Monaco confirmed that he had written the response. His letter referred to an investigation involving “the former sheriff” without providing a name. However, he said in a phone interview that he could not recall if including the word “former” was a mistake.
A records custodian with the New Jersey State Police said it would be unlikely that they could confirm or deny if there is an ongoing investigation.
The sheriff’s department runs the county jail and is in charge of security at the Superior Court in Cape May Court House.
Schaffer, of Upper Township, spent 25 years in the Ocean City Police Department, retiring with the rank of detective lieutenant, where he commanded the detective unit, the SWAT Team and other units, and was the lead internal affairs investigator, according to information his election campaign posted during his last run for county sheriff.
He was tapped to head the county Public Safety Training Center in 1998, and is running unopposed for his third term as county sheriff as a Republican in the November election.
— Christie Rotondo and Bill Barlow