The Butler Borough fire inspector was charged Friday with official misconduct for allegedly tampering with and falsifying public records, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office said.
Earl Dean, 62, was charged with second-degree official misconduct, third-degree tampering with public records and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records, according to Capt. Jeffrey Paul, spokesman for Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi.
Butler Det. Colleen Pascale informed the Morris County Prosecutor's Office Specialized Crimes Division on Sept. 1 that Dean allegedly may have been falsifying fire inspection reports and fire inspection certificates for businesses in Butler, according to a statement released by the prosecutor's office.
A joint investigation by the prosecutor's office and the revealed that Dean allegedly failed to properly conduct fire inspections and allegedly issued fraudulent paperwork to allegedly cover up his actions, the prosecutor's office said.
"As taxpayers, we have a right to demand that public officials hired to perform a public service do just that. To accept a paycheck and knowingly not do what is expected is tantamount to a 'no show' job, or being paid for a service that is not rendered," Bianchi said in a statement.
"This is especially so in an area where the public safety and well-being is involved as is true with persons responsible for conducting fire safety inspections. Additionally, we once again confront a situation where a public official is alleged to have falsified public documents to cover-up their wrongdoing, which is another wholly independent basis to charge a public official."
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-6200, Butler Borough Police Department at 973-838-4100 or the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Stopper Program at 973-COPCALL.