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Port Authority police lieutenant facing department charges in graduation booze bash, sources say

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

CVP EXCLUSIVE: Videotaped evidence that is “of good quality and quite devastating” is leading to at least four different departmental charges against a Port Authority police academy lieutenant for his behavior during an alcohol-fueled, post-graduation bash in Hoboken earlier this summer, sources told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this morning.

The lieutenant “is suspected of being badly inebriated and guilty, as a result, of failure to supervise the rookies who are seen on video stealing beer and damaging the bathroom area of the bar,” one Port Authority source said.

Internal affairs investigators next week were expected to interview a sergeant who is up for a promotion and no fewer than 90 rookie officers — including “those who were already identified and suspected of misconduct,” the source said — as their probe into the event widens, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has also learned.

“They’ll be questioned about what they know, what they did and what they saw,” the source said.

The authority’s Steve Coleman this morning told CLIFFVIEW PILOT : “The Port Authority Inspector General’s investigation is ongoing.” He didn’t elaborate.

The Port Authority already has confirmed that it was reviewing the actions of a dozen rookies and the lieutenant at Texas Arizona Bar and Grill near the NJ Transit Hoboken Terminal — and PATH station — the night of Aug. 22.

Those gathered were celebrating the graduation earlier that day of the Port Authority Police Academy’s 113th class — its largest ever, with 249 graduates — at the Dunn Center in Elizabeth.

Sources at the time said the officers were rowdy and ignored bouncers who tried to quiet them — with some “flashing their new badges,” one said — after which Hoboken police were called. They, in turn, contacted authority supervisors.

The Internal Affairs Bureau “has tapes of the night and they are of good quality and quite devastating,” a source told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

“Some of it is so good they were able to get badge numbers,” said another.

A Port Authority Police Benevolent Association representative said the union won’t comment because the officers are probationary.

The quasi-public agency can terminate probationary officers without the usual due process or union representation.

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