Vineland mayor speaks out about possible reinstatement of fired - NBC40.net

Vineland mayor speaks out about possible reinstatement of fired detective

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"I'm running the city. I'm the mayor. I have to make decisions. Sometimes they are hard decisions. Sometimes it's not easy, but I do it," said Mayor Ruben Bermudez of Vineland.

On May 21st, the mayor issued an order that would drop all charges against former Vineland detective, Gamaliel Cruz, and reinstate him back onto the force.

"We don't know the legality of it at this point. We're looking into that. It has to go in front of the Civil Service Board," said Vineland City Council Vice President, Paul Spinelli.

Spinelli says Cruz was fired in 2012 after the County Prosecutor's Office and Vineland's Police Chief determined that Cruz lied to a superior court judge to obtain a search warrant, which ultimately led to the dismissal of 39 criminal cases.

"I can't say that he lied though. I can't say that," said Bermudez.

Bermudez also says the police chief, along with others, recommended that Cruz should be reinstated back onto the force, but would permanently work behind a desk.

"What do you want me to do if they recommend that to the mayor? What do you want me to do? They recommended that to me," said Bermudez.

The mayor went on to comment on Cruz's character.

"He's a great guy and a young man. He was very aggressive and outgoing. He was always involved with the church and very respectful and polite," said Bermudez.

"It has nothing to do with the gentleman's personality. Everyone we spoke with said he's a great guy. Quite frankly, you can't lie to a superior court judge without having repercussions. He had his day in court," said Spinelli.

While the mayor said Cruz can return to work on July 15th, City Council is investigating the legality of the mayor's order to reinstate Cruz.

"Drop all the charges. That is my issue with the case and as the executive branch of government that is my decision," said Bermudez.

"Quite frankly, this is probably a bad decision," said Spinelli. 

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