A.c. Police Mechanic Pleads Guilty In Porsche Crash

Posted: January 15, 1987

MAYS LANDING, N.J. — An Atlantic City police mechanic who crashed a $50,000 Porsche that had been confiscated from a drug dealer pleaded guilty yesterday to misconduct in office.

Dennis T. Ford, 38, who was the mechanic foreman at the city's police garage when he wrapped the top-of-the-line Porsche 928 with 700 miles on the odometer around a tree on Saturday night, Nov. 1, faces up to five years in prison and a $7,500 fine when he is sentenced April 10 in Atlantic County Superior Court. He was fired from his job.

The car had been owned by Frederick Georgiou, a piano player at Resorts International Casino Hotel. Georgiou was sentenced in September to three years in prison for selling cocaine to an undercover police officer.

The city planned to auction the car, with bids to start at $30,000. Police Chief Joseph Pasquale said his department was slated to get the money and had planned to use the proceeds to buy a robot for the police bomb squad.

Police Capt. Warren "Pat" Byrne, supervisor of the city garage, said the impounded Porsche had immediately become a big attraction at the police garage, and he had been concerned that someone would scratch it accidentally.

Pasquale said the police garage was "too vulnerable" a place to store the sports car because "too many police officers have keys and many mechanics have keys."

Byrne said he and Ford had decided to take the Porsche to Ford's home in Galloway Township and store it in his fenced back yard. After the accident, Pasquale suspended Byrne for five days for "using poor judgment."

"The overwhelming frustration of this thing is, we give them this $50,000 car Oct. 15, and three weeks later it's a pile of junk," Atlantic County Prosecutor Jeffrey Blitz said after the accident.

Blitz said yesterday that Ford had violated his duty by not safeguarding the Porsche and by operating the uninsured and unregistered vehicle without consent.

The battered Porsche is resting on blocks at the National Automobile Salvage Service in Delran, where it is awaiting auction. Police are hoping that it still may sell for as much as $20,000 to someone who would want to restore it.

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