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New Jersey Police Chief Indicted on Drug Tipoff, Wife Beating

November 3, 1995

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ The police chief in West Orange, who was appointed by his father the mayor, has been charged with beating his wife, lying under oath about harassment of his predecessor and tipping off a drug suspect.

The indictments Thursday against Chief Robert A. Spina include official misconduct, aggravated assault, perjury and obstructing justice. If convicted he could face up to 60 years in prison.

Spina, 42, also was charged with endangering his 16-month-old daughter by putting her near the rear wheel of a car being driven by his wife to keep her from leaving an argument.

Mayor Samuel Spina named his son police chief a year ago and has resisted his suspension, prompting protests.

Spina has not been arrested but must appear for arraignment within two weeks. He was suspended with pay last month, and any further job penalty is up to the Township Council in the leafy suburb of 39,000 people about 15 miles from New York City.

A lawyer for the chief, David I. Fox, said there was no immediate comment regarding the charges.