Chief Update: Brothel Visited Often

Chief Update: Brothel Visited Often The chief of police for Runnemede is tangled up in a sex scandal after a raid at a suspected house of prostitution Monday.

Police Chief James Leason, 56, has been replaced by one of his lieutenants. Lt. Mark Diano has been named interim chief.

Police said that when they went to the Arbor Apartments in Maple Shade, N.J., they were looking for a brothel in apartment C-105.

The lock on the apartment was smashed as police conducted the raid. They arrested a woman they said was the madam, two alleged prostitutes, and two johns. Leason was arrested after he had left the building.

Authorities said they found out about the alleged brothel from an informant and learned that Leason was a regular at the establishment.

"We weren't after him. He stumbled into the investigation," said Robert Bernardi, the Burlington County district attorney.

According to Bernardi, Leason never wore his uniform at the brothel or used his official car to go there.

"He's been charged with official misconduct because, in New Jersey as with most states, a chief, any police officer, is on duty 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week when it comes to reporting about criminal activity and preventing it. So, in this case he did neither," Bernardi said.

Leason had been the head of the Runnemede Police Department since 1987.

Leason is out of jail on $5,000 bail.

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Author: Copyright 2004 by NBC10. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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