- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A state appeals court has rejected the appeal of a former Essex County Sheriff’s officer convicted of official misconduct for stealing $70 from a crime scene nearly five years ago.

NJ.com reports (https://bit.ly/1QpRFfU ) that an appellate panel in Newark upheld the conviction of George Ruiz on Thursday.

The former Belleville man unsuccessfully argued that jurors received improper instructions and that a lieutenant improperly offered his opinion about Ruiz’s guilt while on the witness stand.

Ruiz and his search dog were at an Irvington apartment in March 2011. Authorities say $70 went missing from a bedroom closet. The money was later found on Ruiz.

Ruiz has said he never entered the closet and that the money came from the purchase of lottery tickets. He was released from state prison last March.

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Information from: NJ Advance Media.


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