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Town gets 2nd chance to seek ouster of cop who used cocaine

June 17, 2019

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A northern New Jersey town will get another chance to argue that a police officer who used cocaine should be kicked off the force, after the state Supreme Court overruled an earlier decision.

Monday’s high court ruling sends the case of Union City Officer Corey Corbo back to a lower court so that the city can seek to show why hospital records should be used as evidence.

In 2014, Corbo became ill and was admitted to a hospital experiencing convulsions. His girlfriend, a fellow Union City officer, told emergency medical personnel that he had ingested cocaine five days earlier, and lab results later confirmed that statement, according to Monday’s ruling.

After an internal investigation, Union City moved to terminate Corbo, and the Civil Service Commission adopted a judge’s decision authorizing his removal.

Corbo appealed, and the appeals court ruled the girlfriend’s statement and the hospital records both were inadmissible hearsay evidence and shouldn’t have been considered, and declined to send the case back to a lower court.

Monday’s 6-0 ruling with one judge not taking part ordered the case remanded to a lower court so that the city can offer testimony to attempt to show the evidence is admissible. Not doing so “prevents the City from arguing its case on the merits,” the court wrote.

An attorney who argued Corbo’s case didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment Monday.

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