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Ex-Firefighter Facing Arson, Drug Charges May Reject Plea Deal

There was speculation Parsippany resident Jason Campbell might reject a plea deal that would not keep him out of prison. On Monday, he did just that.

Jason Campbell Credit: Morris County Prosecutor's Office
Jason Campbell Credit: Morris County Prosecutor's Office

A former Morris County Sheriff’s officer and Parsippany firefighter charged with official misconduct has done an about face. Jason Campbell had accepted a plea deal from the Morris County Prosecutor's Office last June, but on Monday, the Star-Ledger reported, he formally rejected a similar deal in a Passaic County courtroom. In answer, the prosecution withdrew its offer.

The prosecutor's office originally offered Campbell a deal that allowed him to apply for New Jersey's drug court program, which does not mandate time behind bars. The deal presented Monday did not—and so the defendant, alleged to have used his badge in order to avoid a March 2012 drug arrest after he was the subject of a police traffic stop, turned it down, the article said. 

The first plea bargain possibility was nixed by a state Superior Court judge in Sussex County and the case was moved to Passaic County.  If the deal had gone through, Campbell would have pled guilty to official misconduct and to oxycodone possession. In exchange, separate cases of arson and child neglect against him would have been dropped. Because the 35-year-old Par-Troy resident faces a misconduct charge, he presently is not eligible for drug court. Campbell's rejection leaves him open to prosecution to the law's fullest extent on all of the charges.

Judge Raymond Reddin in Paterson scheduled a status conference for Dec. 16, but noted that his busy calendar made it impossible to state with assurance when the trial will commence, the article said.

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