– Attorney General Paula T. Dow and
Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor
announced that the director of the Passaic
County Garage pleaded guilty to official
misconduct charges today for stealing a
large amount of cash found hidden in a car
that was seized by law enforcement, and
stealing an engine from a second vehicle.
to Director Taylor, Paolo “Paul”
Mariano, 53, of Wayne, pleaded guilty to
two counts of second-degree official misconduct
before Superior Court Judge Marilyn C. Clark
in Passaic County. One count is for the
theft of cash, and the second is for the
theft of the engine. The charges stem from
an investigation by the Division of Criminal
Justice Corruption Bureau.
the plea agreement, Mariano faces a sentence
of three to five years in state prison.
He must pay $20,000 in restitution. As a
result of his plea, Mariano forfeited his
position as director of the Passaic County
Garage, and he will be permanently barred
from public employment. Deputy Attorney
General Vincent J. Militello took the plea
for the Division of Criminal Justice.
cash stolen by Mariano would have been subject
to forfeiture to fund further law enforcement
efforts,” said Attorney General Dow.
“By stealing from the public, he betrayed
the trust placed in him as a county official.”
could call this a crime of opportunity,”
said Director Taylor. “Mariano certainly
seized his opportunity to behave corruptly.”
pleading guilty, Mariano admitted that he
stole cash totaling approximately $20,000
that was found inside a 2000 Ford Taurus
that was seized during a narcotics investigation
by the Passaic County Drug Task Force in
2004. The car was being repaired for use
as an undercover car in 2005 when county
mechanics found the cash in a hidden compartment.
They found several stacks of $100 bills.
The mechanics told Mariano, who took possession
of the car and cash, directing them not
to report anything. Mariano then had a mechanic
disassemble the car.
also admitted that in November 2006, he
directed county mechanics to remove an engine
from a 1995 Toyota 4-Runner that had been
seized by the county. He had the mechanics
place the engine into a 1993 Toyota 4-Runner
that he had given to his girlfriend but
titled in his own name. The stolen engine
was in better condition than the one it
replaced. Mariano sold that car, with the
stolen engine, to an undercover detective
on May 14, 2010 for $2,000.
Clark scheduled Mariano to be sentenced
on April 21.
investigation was led by Deputy Attorney
General Vincent J. Militello, Deputy Chief
Paul Castellvi, Detective Scott Donlan,
and Detective Harry Maronpot Jr. They were
assisted by Sgt. David Salzmann and Detectives
Laura Clarke, Ruben Contreras and Nick Olenick.
General Dow and Director Taylor noted that
the Division of Criminal Justice - Corruption
Bureau has established a toll-free Corruption
Tipline for the public to report corruption,
financial crime and other illegal activities.
The statewide Corruption Tipline is 1-866-TIPS-4CJ.
Additionally, the public can log on to the
Division of Criminal Justice Web site at
to report suspected wrongdoing. All information
received through the Division of Criminal
Justice Corruption Tipline or Web page will