BRIDGETON — A former Vineland patrol officer was sentenced in Superior Court on Friday to two year’s probation for stealing $40,000 in union funds belonging to members of a pair of police departments.
The sentence issued by Superior Court Judge Darrell Fineman also requires Steven R. Buglio to make $40,000 in restitution to Police Benevolent Association Local 266, of which Buglio was president.
Buglio is further required to file amended federal and state income tax returns that will list the $40,000 he stole from the local — which represents police officers in Vineland, Cumberland County, and Buena, Atlantic County — from 2007 through 2011 as income. He is required to meet all new tax obligations that result from those amended tax returns, officials with the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Another part of Thursday’s proceedings is an order banning Buglio from future employment with any local, county, state and federal law enforcement agency. Buglio has already resigned from the Vineland Police Department, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.
Buglio, 37, was sentenced in the Cumberland County courthouse on charges of theft by failure to make required disposition of property received and misapplication of entrusted property. Buglio admitted to those charges Jan. 7 as part of a plea agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office.
Authorities arrested Buglio, a Vineland resident, on Feb. 18, 2012, along with co-defendant William C. Newman. Newman was also a member of the Vineland Police Department and the local’s treasurer.
Buglio worked for the Vineland Police Department for eight years at the time of his arrest. Newman, of Elmer, Salem County, worked for the department for five years when he was arrested.
Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said at the time of the arrests that the investigation into the missing union money was initiated by Vineland Police Chief Timothy Codispoti and conducted by her office’s Professional Standards Unit. She said her office had the full cooperation of Codispoti and members of his police department.
Also at the time of the arrests, state PBA President Anthony Weiners said he had been contacted by Local 266 members who were concerned about the local’s finances. The concerns were “elevated when information was developed that financial records were incorrect,” he said.
Criminal complaints released by Webb-McRae’s office stated that Buglio and Newman “failed to make the proper disposition” of the union’s funds. The complaints further stated that Buglio and Newman used the money “as if it was (their) own.”
Newman entered a pre-trial intervention program in January. He resigned from the Police Department as a condition of entering the program.
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