A New Jersey police officer has lost his tax-free disability pension after a video of him running after a monster truck and wrestling on a reality TV show surfaced. Apparently Joseph Derrico was collecting his disability pension while he was cast as a minor character in the reality TV show “Bear Swamp Recovery.” Following the discovery of the video and a subsequent examination, doctors found that Derrico was no longer permanently disabled. The state Police and Firemen’s Retirement System board of trustees voted unanimously to suspend Derrico’s disability, meaning he will no longer be receiving his $5,808.61 monthly payouts.
After being indicted on a charge of receiving stolen property, Derrico resigned from the force in October 2010. He then was accepted into a disability retirement worth $70,000 annually.
In most circumstances, the PFRS’ vote would clear an employee to go back to work, but Derrico will not be returning to the force.
“So he resigned with disciplinary charges pending, which happens,” said Hamilton business administrator John Ricci. “We don’t have to take him back … but he doesn’t have a pension anymore.”
John Sierchio, a Bloomfield police sergeant and member of the PFRS board of trustees, said this was the first time the board had suspended a pension.
“People see this type of fraud, and it really opens up their eyes,” he said.
A criminal case was never brought with regard to Derrico’s stolen property charge and his resignation led the departmental to drop its charges against him, NJ.com reported.
The prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the case.