More than two years after the controversial incident, the Washington Township police officer who stopped a state assemblyman — and arrested him for alleged drunk driving — will stand trial.
Opening statements in the trial of Joseph DiBuonaventura are expected to begin in Gloucester County Superior Court Wednesday morning; jurors were selected Tuesday. The officer is charged with misconduct, falsifying records, and other offenses, in relation to the July 31, 2012, traffic stop of Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty (D., Gloucester).
Moriarty, a former township mayor and former CBS3 reporter, was pulled over on the Black Horse Pike (Route 42) in Turnersville after leaving a car dealership. DiBuonaventura claimed Moriarty's blue Nissan Murano cut him off — a fact later disputed by video footage recorded on the police cruiser.
After taking field sobriety tests, Moriarty refused to submit to a breath test (he later said his trust in the system was eroded because of the officer's actions), and the legislator was charged with DUI and other infractions. Those were later dropped.
DiBuonaventura, a 17-year veteran of the force who remains suspended without pay, was indicted on 14 counts in 2013. Last April, a motion to have the indictment dismissed was rejected. Moriarty later filed a civil suit against the officer and the police department.
The events inspired Moriarty to pursue legislation requiring new police vehicles to be equipped with cameras — an initiative signed into law last year.