An Egg Harbor City detective has been charged with using his position as a police officer to have sexual contact with four women, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said.
Steven Hadley, 31, of Port Republic, was charged Tuesday, the same day he was critically injured in a fiery crash on the Garden State Parkway in Little Egg Harbor Township.
The complaint, which lists the victims only by their initials, says Hadley exploited his job to engage in sex acts with the four women during the course of his official duties on various occasions.
The alleged relationship with one of the women lasted from January 2010 until this past May, the complaint says. Two others began this year.
The Prosecutor’s Office released information on the arrest Wednesday but would not comment on whether the one-vehicle crash was related to Hadley knowing the charges were coming.
Hadley was heading north near milemarker 57.1 just before 9 a.m. Tuesday, when his pickup truck went off the road and hit a tree. He escaped as the truck caught on fire. He suffered burns and other injuries.
The married father of three is charged with four counts of official misconduct, a second-degree crime that carries five to 10 years in prison on each count and a fine of as much as $150,000.
Defense attorney Joseph Levin was served with the charges because Hadley remained hospitalized in critical condition at Temple University Hospital’s Burn Center in Philadelphia.
“Officer Hadley is saddened by the allegations, but they are just that: allegations,” Levin said. “He respectfully requests that no one rush to judgment while he pursues a vigorous defense and a just resolution.”
Levin said the officer has served his community “with honor and distinction” for years and “other than his loving family, there was and is nothing more important to him than his honorably serving as a law enforcement officer.”
Mayor Lisa Jiampetti said the Prosecutor’s Office had not informed city government of charges against Hadley or even the potential of charges.
“The city has not been informed on (potential charges) from the beginning,” she said.
Chief John McColgan referred all comment to the Prosecutor’s Office.
Hadley has been a police officer for about nine years, and also worked at the Prosecutor’s Office for a time. His father, also named Steve, was a sergeant of the prosecutor’s Narcotics Strike Task Force in the 1990s, according to previous Press of Atlantic City reports.
McClain said his office notified the Attorney General’s Office at the start of the investigation about both the allegations and Hadley’s history — and that of his family — with the Prosecutor’s Office.
“The Attorney General’s Office advised us it was not a conflict,” McClain said of his office handling the case.
Staff Writer Michelle Brunetti Post contributed to this report.
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