A police chief in Cumberland County who promoted his own daughter and offered to promote an officer in exchange for sleeping with the man’s wife and daughter should be demoted to deputy chief, a hearing officer has ruled.
Vineland Chief Rudolph Beu IV, who has been the city’s top cop since 2017, also failed to recuse himself over a disciplinary matter involving a police officer who is the father of his grandchild, according to the hearing officer, retired Judge Raymond A. Batten.
Beu, 60, had denied most of the allegations against him but also claimed nearly every charge violated a 45-day statute of limitations imposed under New Jersey law.
Batten disagreed, however, and found Beu guilty of insubordination, neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming a public employee and other offenses.
Beu could not be reached Thursday to comment on the hearing officer’s findings. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The most serious charge concerned an alcohol-fueled encounter the chief allegedly had with an officer and the man’s wife on April 7, 2017 at a sports bar at a Philadelphia Phillies game.
The couple claimed claimed Beu looked the woman “up and down” and offered to promote the officer if he could take his wife home with him.
“It made me feel extremely uncomfortable and, at that point, I got up and walked away,” the woman testified. The officer also alleged that Beu asked about sleeping with the couple’s pre-teen daughter, according to Batten’s findings.
The hearing officer found that Beu promoted his own daughter, who is a Vineland police officer, to the department’s Juvenile Division. The move occurred ahead of the promotion of another officer, who supervisors determined needed to be transferred from patrol for medical reasons, according to the findings.
In addition, Beu failed to recuse himself when recommending a minor reprimand to an officer who violated policies and procedures during a burglary arrest. The officer is the father of Beu’s grandchild, Batten said in his report.
The hearing officer also found that Beu refused to turn over at least 19 internal affairs files that city attorneys had requested.
City officials were seeking to suspend Beu for 180 days without pay and a demote him to deputy chief. Batten agreed with the demotion but said since Beu has already been suspended with pay, a similar action would serve no purpose.
“Beu readily rises to the level of failure to perform duties, insubordination, conduct unbecoming a public employee, neglect of duty, and other sufficient cause, all as contemplated by (state law),” Batten wrote.
In a Federal Defamation Lawsuit filed last year, Beu claimed city officials conspired to force him out of his job because of his efforts to report corruption within the police department and the city.
In March, a judge dismissed the conspiracy and whistleblower components of Beu’s lawsuit but left in place his allegations of defamation. A trial date has not been set.