A Lawnside police lieutenant was charged Tuesday with official misconduct after he allegedly failed to notify authorities of a suspect's confession about his role in a Salem County homicide, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said.
Lloyd Lewis, 44, the highest- ranking member of department, also was charged with tampering with evidence and public records.
The accusation stems from an alleged exchange five years ago between Lewis and Lee Williams Jr., who was then wanted in connection with the homicide.
Reached Tuesday evening, Lewis, a 23-year law enforcement veteran, declined to comment about the charges. His attorney, Jeffrey C. Garrigan of Jersey City, could not be reached.
Authorities said that on Aug. 20, 2008, Lewis was contacted by a longtime friend who was related to Williams. The friend asked Lewis to help facilitate Williams' surrender.
Williams and Lewis waited for Salem County investigators at the Lawnside Police Department.
The Prosecutor's Office said: "In that time, Lewis claimed Williams insisted on making a statement."
Lewis allegedly read Williams his Miranda rights and took the statement with audio and video equipment. Williams acknowledged being an accomplice in the homicide, authorities said.
Lewis then wrote a report on the incident that failed to mention Williams' statement, the Prosecutor's Office said.
Lewis also never told Salem County authorities about the statement and failed to preserve a recording of it, authorities said.
Police videos in Lawnside are saved 45 days before being copied over, and Lewis made no attempt to preserve the confession, authorities said.
Authorities last night did not disclose the name of the homicide victim or whether Williams had been tried in the case.