On September 9, 2022, former Paterson police officers were sentenced in a federal criminal case related to civil rights violations and false police reports that occurred while the Republican candidates for Sheriff and County Commissioner held prominent leadership positions in the Paterson Police Department. Two Paterson cops admitted to running a “robbery squad” that included shaking down drug dealers and various civil rights violations under the leadership of Mason Maher, Alex Cruz, and Troy Oswald.
“Mason Maher, Alex Cruz, and Troy Oswald need to be held accountable for their role as leaders in the Paterson Police Department while this illegal conduct took place,” stated Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik. “Mason Maher attended the trial in support of these officers and the robbery squads, showing that he does not have the character to run the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office. “
“Troy Oswald wasn’t fit to be Sheriff, and these convictions show he is not fit to be a County Commissioner either,” stated Commissioner Pat Lepore. “While the Oswald Robbery Squads were reeking havoc in Paterson, I led the effort with Sheriff Berdnik and Commissioner Duffy to put more police on the streets to keep our families and communities safe.”
“As the father of a Paterson Police Officer, I know the good men-and-women working in Paterson trying to keep the City safe,” stated Commissioner Terry Duffy. “Oswald, Maher, and Cruz failed these public servants, and their lack of leadership is a damning indictment.”