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Judge upholds former Cliffside Park officer’s conviction, orders resignation

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Superior Court judge in Hackensack today upheld a former Cliffside Park police officer’s conviction for illegally trying to make his personal car look like an undercover police cruiser — and ordered Jon Lemkin to resign and not hold another public job again.

Superior Court Judge Eugene Austin’s ruling upholds a December decision by fellow jurist Roy F. McGeady, the presiding municipal judge for Bergen County, borough spokesman Bill Maer confirmed tonight.

McGeady’s ruling came in response to a request by Lemkin’s attorney that he reconsider his original guilty verdict after a four-day trial a month earlier.

The judge found the former officer guilty of altering a license plate, installing emergency lights in his own car without authoritization and not displaying a valid inspection sticker.

Once McGeady turned down his appeal, Lemkin took his case to Superior Court.

All along, he’s argued that the tinted windows and lights were intended to make his black Ford Crown Victoria look like an undercover police vehicle as a crime deterrent in his neighborhood. Lemkin also insisted he was framed by another cop he didn’t get along with.

Prosecutors said Lemkin altered two characters on the license plate — which got him suspended in 2011 — so that any checks on it would come back as if it were an undercover patrol car.

Lemkin denied it.

It’s unclear what his next move will be. An email seeking comment was sent to Lemkin.

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