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The Carteret police director, who has been on the job for less than a month, was arrested Tuesday evening and charged with drunk driving after crashing his car on Route 9 in Old Bridge. reported.

Ronald Franz, 71, was described as highly intoxicated and “belligerent” by responding officers, who found him behind the wheel of his 2015 Lexus.
Mayor Daniel Reiman suspended Franz without pay the following day pending an investigation by the borough attorney.

“What is clear at this point is that this did not occur during work hours and that Director Franz was driving his personal vehicle at the time of the incident,” borough Law Director Robert Bergen said Wednesday. “Once the investigation has been completed, the Borough will take any and all appropriate action.”

Franz was hired as the borough’s civilian police director on Feb. 1. He retired as captain from the State Police in 1999 and collects a $77,706 annual pension in addition to his police director’s salary of $70,000.

Franz also is the executive director of the Middlesex County 200 Club, a nonprofit law enforcement organization that supports families of wounded or fallen officers and raises money for student scholarships.

Police said Franz ran off the road, crashing into the curb of the highway near Ferry Road about 6:30 p.m.

Police said they could smell the odor of alcohol on his breath and in the vehicle. His speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot, police said.

Franz allegedly refused to submit to a breathalyzer test and wasn’t cooperative with police questioning, officials said.

Franz was charged with driving while intoxicated, refusing the breathalyzer test, reckless driving, improper passing and obstructing traffic – all moving vehicle violations that are not considered criminal.

His two front tires were blown out and the wheel rims were damaged, police said.

Franz did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.




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