Hoboken's top woman cop is ousted

Hoboken's top woman cop is ousted
Saturday, July 15, 2006
The Jersey Journal

HOBOKEN - A 21-year veteran of the Police Department and the city's only female captain has resigned after a 14-month internal investigation revealed that she frequently failed to report for work and refused to follow other protocols, according to police records.

Karen Dimonde, 44, the highest ranking female police officer in the city's history, resigned from the department effective July 1.

As part of her exit agreement, Dimonde has agreed to reimburse the city $36,000 - the amount of salary she received while absent from her post, records show. She was also demoted to the rank of police officer.

Dimonde pleaded guilty to a total 22 administrative charges on 10 dates, according to police. The most serious charges include neglect of duty, failure to supervise subordinates, conduct unbecoming a public employee and insubordination, records show.

Dimonde, who earned $127,866 a year, will continue to receive half her annual salary as pension but will not receive health benefits, police said.

Police officers who retire after 25 years are eligible for 65 percent of salary and health benefits.

Police Chief Carmen LaBruno said Dimonde's troubling behavior dated as far back as 2001, the year she was promoted to captain.

Last April, working with the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, the Internal Affairs Unit used audio and video surveillance to prove that Dimonde was not reporting to her midnight-to-8 a.m. shift, police said. The department also brought in an outside investigation agency to set up Global Positioning System tracking devices, according to police.

The tapes showed that Dimonde was at her home in Woodridge and in areas of the city she was not supposed to be in when she was supposed to be on the job, records show.

Dimonde also refused to wear a uniform and refused to spend at least six of her eight hours patrolling the streets - a requirement of all police captains, LaBruno said.

"I've never seen such an abuse of authority in my whole career," said LaBruno.

Sgt. Ken Ferrante, president of the Hoboken Police Superior Officers Association, said Dimonde declined to issue a statement regarding her resignation, although she wished to thank her friends and family for helping her during a "tough period."

LaBruno said other cops may face disciplinary action as a result of the investigation.

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