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A Howell Township police car. (Photo: Howell PD via Facebook).

AG announces criminal charges against two police chiefs

Manville chief Thomas Herbst, former Howell chief Andrew Kudrick charged in unrelated cases

By Joey Fox, April 12 2023 3:07 pm

Attorney General Matt Platkin announced today that his office had brought criminal charges against two current and former New Jersey police chiefs: Manville police chief Thomas Herbst and former Howell police chief Andrew Kudrick.

The cases, which are unrelated to each other, both concern alleged sexual misconduct, though the charges against Herbst are more severe and involve several counts of alleged sexual assault.

“The people of New Jersey and the members of our police departments, especially our many female officers, deserve police leaders who serve and protect, not prey on those who are less powerful than they are,” Platkin said today at a press conference. “They need to know that police officers – and particularly our law enforcement leaders – will put predators behind bars, not behave as victimizers masked as agents of the law.”

According to the attorney general’s office, Herbst, who has worked for the Manville Police Department since 1991 and served as chief since 2020, continuously sexually assaulted and harassed a police department employee between 2008 and 2021; he also allegedly displayed sexually inappropriate behavior towards at least two other women. Herbst was put on paid administrative leave in February 2022 thanks to a lawsuit from the employee.

Herbst is facing two counts of sexual assault, two counts of official misconduct, one count of a pattern of official misconduct, and one count of criminal sexual contact.

Kudrick, meanwhile, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a subordinate and unlawfully covering up the affair. The former chief, who abruptly resigned in April 2022, allegedly lied about the nature of the relationship to a special counsel and threatened to open an internal affairs probe into a police captain if the captain cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation.

Kudrick has been charged with official misconduct, false swearing, tampering with public records, tampering with and retaliating against witnesses, and obstructing the administration of law.

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