County prosecutor ordered to turn over 2000 videotape for DeMarzo suit

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WILDWOOD – An Atlantic County judge has ordered Cape May County Prosecutor Robert Taylor to turn over a video that allegedly captured an incident between a Wildwood police officer and an arrested individual in 2000.

Judge Joseph Kane’s order, filed April 10, comes after former Wildwood Mayor Gary DeMarzo and attorney Samuel Lashman requested the video as part of the discovery process for their malicious prosecution claim against Taylor. It ordered Taylor to turn over the tape to attorney Matthew Behr, who would then make copies of the video and distribute it to other parties and “held in confidence for litigation purposes only,” the order reads.

“We think this video was part of the impetus for our indictment,” Lashman said. “I think Gary has been through the ringer or more. Now it’s our turn to get the facts of what is going on out there, and why this happened to us.”

This isn’t the first time DeMarzo has asked for the video, which allegedly depicts an incident between Capt. Robert Regalbuto and an individual who had been arrested on Dec. 10, 2000. In 2010, when DeMarzo was mayor, he reportedly led efforts to have the tape released. At that time, he argued that Officer David Romeo, who was just re-sentenced on an official misconduct charge in October 2013, had made a selective enforcement complaint involving Regalbuto’s alleged action.

Regalbuto did not immediately return phone calls for comment.

On Thursday, Lashman said he believed that DeMarzo’s public requests for the video led to his indictments.

“We were indicted 60 days before the election, in my mind in an attempt to disparage him,” Lashman said. “And as far as I’m concerned that was one of the factors that led to him not being elected.”

In their malicious prosecution suit, DeMarzo and Lashman contend that the indictments they faced were politically motivated. Their suit states that the indictments were filed to “attack plaintiffs for their political affiliations and gain the ability to install new city officials who have valuable business relationships with defendants and their subordinates.”

New Jersey’s Appellate Court ruled in DeMarzo’s favor just last week, when it upheld a trial court’s decision to dismiss the third indictment of official misconduct charges against him.

Taylor declined to comment on this story.

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