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Assemblyman's suit against Nissan dealership dismissed, settlement reached

Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty had visited the Nissan dealership in Turnersville before his 2012 traffic stop and arrest.

(Note: This post has been updated to reflect that a confidential settlement has been reached.)

Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty's lawsuit against a local Nissan dealership he visited before being pulled over and arrested in 2012 has been dismissed, just days after the involved police officer was acquitted of criminal charges, and a settlement has been reached.

Moriarty (D., Gloucester), who was arrested and charged with DUI and other offenses after an afternoon traffic stop in July 2012, had sued the Nissan of Turnersville and several other parties - including employees of the dealership and auto mall - alleging that they had "aided and abetted" the violation of his constitutional rights. An agreement made by attorneys for both sides filed in federal court Monday dismisses the complaint.

John Eastlack, Moriarty's attorney in the case, offered a statement Wednesday morning saying that the matter had been "amicably resolved" through a settlement whose terms are confidential. "Mr. Moriarty is pleased to have this chapter of this matter behind him."

The assemblyman has also sued Washington Township Police Officer Joseph DiBuonaventura, who was found not guilty last week of 14 charges, including official misconduct and falsifying records. After the ruling, Moriarty in a statement said "justice will continue to be fought for" through his civil suit.

DiBuonaventura stopped Moriarty's Nissan Murano shortly after Moriarty left the dealership. During DiBuonaventura's trial, it became clear that the rumors of the legislator's supposed intoxication began with a phone call from inside the dealership to township police detectives, who passed along the information to DiBuonaventura.

The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office had contended the officer's stop was unwarranted, based on video footage from his police cruiser. The charges against Moriarty, a former Washington Township mayor, were dismissed. He has maintained that he had nothing to drink that day and that he refused to take the breath test because he did not trust the process and felt "targeted."