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Posted: 5/12/2003 3:52:33 PM EDT

A cleanup that brought out more dirt

Trooper's ex-wife felt obligation to turn in tapes that reignited profiling scandal

Friday, May 09, 2003
Star-Ledger Staff

Linda Goldberg, newly divorced from her state trooper husband, was cleaning out their Hamilton home last week when she found a bag of old videotapes in a closet. One by one, she popped them into the player.

The first one startled her: filmed long before their 18-month marriage, she said it showed Kevin Goldberg having sex with another woman. Two other tapes were also troubling: recordings of Kevin and his State Police partner patrolling the New Jersey Turnpike, pulling over black motorists and using racial epithets.

While the first tape was personally disturbing, Linda Goldberg said she felt the others would concern State Police officials. So, a couple days later, she spurned her husband's demands to return them and instead handed them to his employer.

"The things on those tapes were wrong," said Goldberg, 32. "I had a legal responsibility."

Now in the hands of the State Police Office of Professional Standards, the patrol tapes have reignited the furor over racial profiling, shocked top brass and prompted them to begin a review of the two troopers' patrol records to determine if the videotaped conduct was part of a pattern. The tapes also will likely cost the troopers their jobs, as soon as today.

"Whether or not they resign, they will not be on the force by the close of business this week," one law enforcement source said.

"There were horrors on that videotape," Acting Superintendent Joseph "Rick" Fuentes told the state Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday during a hearing on his nomination.

Sources familiar with the videotapes' contents say they show Goldberg and his partner, Howard Parker, referring to black motorists with racial epithets and appearing to illegally search cars without probable cause. They also are shown discarding a bag of drugs seized from one motorist, instead of taking it as evidence, the sources said.

Goldberg, 37, and Parker, 36, have been assigned to desk duties, without their service weapons and with limited contact with the public.

Officials acknowledge that the tapes have reopened painful wounds in the years-long struggle by the State Police to overcome findings that the force had systematically targeted minority motorists for stops and seizures.

While determining whether the videotapes include any illegal stops or searches, investigators must also scrutinize every ticket and arrest the troopers made during their patrols on the Turnpike in the early 1990s to determine if there was a pattern of such conduct. They will also seek to ascertain whether any other troopers were involved or if their supervisors knew about their conduct.

Fuentes said that although he believed the videotapes were an "isolated incident," investigators must now examine "whether it was a pattern" of conduct by the two troopers or any others.

"Troopers who engage in this behavior do not deserve to wear the badge of this organization," Fuentes said.

Charles Sciarra, a lawyer representing Goldberg and Parker, lashed out at Fuentes yesterday for prematurely commenting on the internal affairs investigation.

"I think it is outrageous that these guys were alleged to have violated the rights of others and within days of these allegations surfacing, their rights have been trampled into dust," Sciarra said. "We're trying to figure out how and if we could ever get a fair trial when the superintendent who makes the final decision has already decided the fate of my clients."

The tumult over the tapes has unnerved the woman who discovered them.

Linda Goldberg says she admired her husband despite a short, turbulent marriage that included allegations of abuse. They have a 9-month-old daughter, and she has two young children from a previous marriage.

"I don't think he was thinking about the consequences," she said.

But she also feels vindicated. For months, she had been accusing her husband of emotional and physical abuse. In September, she filed a simple assault charge that prompted an investigation by the State Police Office of Professional Services. Even though she dropped the charge a month later in hopes of rehabilitating their marriage, Goldberg remained on desk duty as a crime scene investigator, unable to carry his service weapon.

In February, she returned to Hamilton Municipal Court to file another simple assault charge, in which she accused her husband of grabbing her throat and giving her a nosebleed. They separated the next day and divorced April 25.

Sciarra, who is representing Goldberg in the simple assault case as well, declined to respond to the accusations of domestic violence.

Linda Goldberg says she also got a temporary restraining order against her husband Friday in response to what she described as his aggressive attempts to get the tapes from her. But by then, she'd already given them to the State Police.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 4:08:14 PM EDT
Beware of a woman scorned.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 4:25:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 5:16:16 PM EDT
I would bet she knew of those tapes all along and did nothing about them.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 5:30:23 PM EDT
Nothing like an ex-wife to ruin your life.  She does not give a flying crap about him or his behavior, she just wants to make him as miserable as she is, so she ruined his life.  Now the alimony checks are going to be really small, when she realizes that her cut of his life is based on income she won't be so damn smug.

Locally, a miserable shrew of a woman ruined her husbands $80,000 a year city job and career. He used the city cell phone to call his girlfriend.  She was on TV sniveling about how she did it because he was defrauding the city and had to pay.  He paid 480.00 dollars for cell callls and was fired.  Her alimony and child support dropped 80percent and she again called the media to scream about that.  Love is a beautiful thing.
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