- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The state Attorney General’s office says it will investigate allegations that the state police superintendent racially discriminated against the force’s retired head of minority recruitment.

The claims surfaced Friday in a lawsuit filed by Maj. Gerald Lewis, who is black. The 26-year veteran claims Col. Rick Fuentes made him the target of a bogus internal investigation and ended Lewis‘ career out of fear he might be chosen as the next superintendent.

Acting state Attorney General John Hoffman says his office is reviewing the complaint.

“We take allegations of this nature seriously and will investigate the allegations fully,” Hoffman said.

The announcement comes just days after some of the state’s most influential black leaders expressed outrage over the allegations. They say Fuentes must resign or be ousted if the allegations are found to be true.

State police officials and Fuentes have declined comment on the allegations.

According to Lewis‘ suit, Fuentes last year ordered an investigation to find out who sent a letter accusing him of various personal indiscretions. Lewis claims he became the target in the investigation, which he said was a tool to undermine his credibility because some feared he might be in line to replace Fuentes as superintendent.

Lewis alleges Fuentes gained access to his e-mail and phone records, and that several troopers were interviewed by an investigator and asked to fill out criminal profiles and questionnaires about his personality.

He also claims Fuentes attempted to persuade him to take a job as commander of Troop C, which oversees central New Jersey, in order to get him out of State Police headquarters in West Trenton