Police chief charged with promoting prostitution
Published in the Asbury Park Press 1/28/04 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

MAPLE SHADE -- Longtime Runnemede Police Chief James M. Leason was charged with misconduct in office after authorities raided an apartment where a prostitution ring was allegedly operating.

Leason, 56, also was charged with promoting prostitution after being arrested Monday, Burlington County authorities said. He was later freed after posting $5,000 bail and could face 15 years in prison if convicted on both charges.

Runnemede Mayor Frank C. Hartman Sr. announced yesterday that Leason, who was off-duty when he was arrested, would be suspended without pay.

"The safety of the residents will not be affected by this incident," Hartman said in a written statement.

Investigators said Leason -- a former president of the Camden County Police Chiefs Association who has led the Runnemede force for many years -- was a frequent visitor to the Maple Shade apartment, which had been under surveillance since July. Leason and Dolores Crozier, 66, who allegedly ran the prostitution ring, were among six people charged in the case.

© copyright 2004 The Associated Press
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