Saturday, April 12, 2014

Credibility of Former EHC Detective Steven Hadley Called into Question in Inmates Court Documents

John Paff, Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Police Accountability Project has broken the news about a letter he wrote to a drug inmate who is claiming that his suppression motion was improperly denied because the judge relied upon the credibility of a police officer who has since been charged with official misconduct.

The police officer in question is former Detective Steven Hadley of the Egg Harbor City Police Department. The inmate is Terrance D. Harris. Harris is currently serving an eight-year sentence for "second-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute."

In September 2013 the Atlantic County Prosecutors Office charged Detective Steven Hadley with four counts of official misconduct for allegedly using his official position as a police officer to have sex with four different women over a three year period. 

Harris has stated in his suppression motion that Hadley executed a search on his house without obtaining a proper search warrant. The search resulted in drugs being found in the home Harris resided in. Harris alleges in his suppression motion that the official misconduct charges against Hadley need to be reviewed by the court as the charges by the Prosecutor Office against Hadley alleged misconduct during the time of Harris' incident. 

Harris raises the question in his motion that if "any of the women involved in some way with the defendant (Harris) and also a confidential informant for Detective Hadley, were drugs planted in the defendant's home by one of these women at the behest of Detective Hadley?"

Several other questions were raised, including a discrepancy of when Hadley appeared in Court to obtain a search warrant from the Judge after the search was already conducted. 

The Judge ruled the issue needed to be reviewed but remanded the case back to trial court for review and determination.

Galloway Township News originally reported Hadley's employment being called into question in June 2013. 

Paff's letter to the inmate is released in full below with the hyperlinks to the documents Paff obtained. Paff outlines Harris' motion to the court for the readers. 

Paff Letter to Terrance D. Harris

April 12, 2014

Terrance D. Harris
No. #735792-155146c
Bayside State Prison
4293 Rt 47, P.O. Box F-1
Leesburg, NJ  08327

Dear Mr. Harris:

I write in my capacity of Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Police Accountability Project.  Our mission is to hold police officers accountable for their misdeeds.  I have posted the contents of this letter, along with documentary exhibits, to various blogs, e-mail lists and social media.

I write to ask that you please share with me the results of the remand hearing after that matter has been decided by the Atlantic County Superior Court.

For the benefit of readers who are not familiar with your matter, I will briefly summarize it below.

From reading the Appellate Division's March 21, 2014 decision in your criminal case, I see that you are serving an eight-year sentence with a four-year period of parole ineligibility for "second-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute."   According to your certification and brief filed with the Appellate Division (which I received by way of an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request, the substance at issue was cocaine which was found in your home while the police were executing a search warrant.

You made a motion to suppress the search on the grounds that the search warrant was issued after, rather than before, the search was conducted.  The trial judge in Atlantic County denied your motion based in part on the credibility of Egg Harbor City Police Detective Steven W. Hadley who had testified at your suppression hearing.

While the appeal of the denial of your suppression motion was pending, Lynda Cohen wrote "Detective allegedly used job to get sex" in the September 26, 2013 Press of Atlantic City.  That article reported that Detective Hadley was charged with four counts of official misconduct for allegedly using his official position as a police officer to have sex with four different women over a three year period.  

Hadley's arrest, you argued in your brief, ought to be considered by the Appellate Division as "new evidence" since it was unknown at the time of your suppression hearing.  You further argued that Hadley's arrest is relevant to your case given that the trial judge denied your suppression motion at least partly because of Hadley's perceived credibility.

The Appellate Division refused to supplement the record to include Hadley's arrest, but remanded the matter to the trial court, which will ultimately decide whether or not Hadley's arrest will be admitted into evidence and whether the prior decision to deny your suppression motion should stand.

I'd like to follow this matter and blog the result. Would you please inform me of the results of your case and, if possible, the date, hour and location of the hearing at which this matter will be decided?  If you have someone who is not incarcerated who can communicate on your behalf, please ask him or her to correspond with me at the e-mail address in the letterhead.

Very truly yours,

John Paff, Chairman
New Jersey Libertarian Party's
Police Accountability Project
P.O. Box 5424
Somerset, NJ  08875
Voice: 732-873-1251
Fax: 908-325-0129



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