Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler, a Republican candidate for Bergen County Sheriff, was charged today with ordering police escorts for a funeral home he owns.
Kugler faces a mandatory five-year prison term after the state attorney general’s office charged him with using police escorts for funerals at the Kugler Funeral Home in Saddle Brook.
Prosecutors allege that the funeral home did not reimburse he municipality for any costs incurred and said the use of police vehicles is in violation of a township ordinance.
The Bergen County Prosecutor has taken over control of the local police department, effective today.
Kugler was also charged with conspiracy and the corruption of public resources.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, a former Bergen County Prosecutor, has recused himself, his office said. First Assistant Attorney General Andrew Bruck will be in charge of the prosecution.
The charges likely leave Bergen County Republicans without a candidate for sheriff just four weeks before the April 5 filing deadline.
Kugler was facing Midland Park Mayor Harry Shortway for the endorsement of the Bergen County Republican organization.
The incumbent, Democrat Anthony Cureton, is seeking re-election to his second term.