Montgomery Police Director Pleads Not Guilty to DUI
By Barbara A. Preston | June 15, 2022
Montgomery Township's police director pleaded not guilty in court today, in a virtual hearing before Lawrence Township Municipal Judge Lewis Korngut. Videos from the arrest may exonerate the director, according information released at the hearing.
Bound Brook police had arrested the head of the Montgomery Township police — Captain James M. Gill — on March 24 and charged him with refusing to submit to a breath test, reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and failing to stay in marked lanes. The charges are listed in the New Jersey Court Case Search (MCCS) data base.
Photo Caption: Montgomery Township Police Director James Gill, top right, in Lawrence Township's virtual court on Wednesday morning. Clockwise: Judge Lewis Korngut; Lawrence Township Prosecutor Candy Velazquez; and Attorney Edward Janzekovich.
Bound Brook Municipal Court Judge Michael Fedun, who is a resident of Montgomery Township and has a law office across the street from police headquarters, recused himself. He transferred the case from his Bound Brook jurisdiction to Lawrence Township Municipal Judge Lewis Korngut.
Captain Gill has been on paid administrative leave since his arrest on Thursday, March 24. At 2:24 am that morning, Bound Brook Police Officer Jesse Schwartz stopped Gill, who was driving a black 2021 Chevrolet station station wagon on West Union Avenue (Route 28).
Gill's attorney is Edward Janzekovich, an experienced DUI defense attorney located in South River. Janzekovich also is a retired lieutenant from the East Brunswick Police Department, with more than 23 years experience as a law enforcement officer and a Navy Veteran. Additionally, while with the police department, Edward served as the president, delegate, and chairman of the NJ Judiciary Committee with the police department unions.
Gill pleaded not guilty on April 26. His court appearance on May 18 was adjourned until June 15 so that Lawrence Township Prosecutor Candy Velazquez could have more time to get details on the case.
Prosecutor Velazquez said at the June 15 hearing that she is "still waiting for videos" from the Bound Brook Police Department. "I had a conversation with counsel, and it is my understanding that upon receipt of the videos, there's a likely resolution of this matter," she said.
"The videos are available," Velazquez told the court. "I've been in contact with Bound Brook. They actually emailed the videos to me, but for some reason they are not getting to me. I just have to coordinate directly with Bound Brook to make sure it is not going to another email or some sort of spam that I'm not seeing."
Judge Korngut rescheduled the court date to July 13 so the prosector will have time to obtain the video footage. "Obviously, we understand that this is a directive that the court must try to move these DUI cases as soon as possible," he added.
Velazquez is resigning her position of Lawrence Township prosecutor, Korngut remarked. So a new prosector will be representing the "State v Gill" case for the next court date. "I'm not sure who the new prosecutor is going to be, maybe somebody from the county prosecutor's office until the county finds a new prosecutor."
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Captain Director Gill oversees the entire Montgomery Township police force. He has been on the force for more than 25 years. In 2020, Gill had an annual salary of $166,306 according to public records.
Services Commander Lt. Tom Frascella is the acting captain/director for the Montgomery Township Police Department while Gill awaits judgement on the DUI accusation. Operations Commander Lt. Kurt Rock and Administrative Commander Lt. Silvio Bet have also stepped into greater administrative roles to ensure the smooth and effective operations of the department.