Ken Zisa emphasized this week that he is still the chief of the Hackensack Police Department.
“I’m not the former police chief, I’m not the ex-police chief,” Zisa said in his first interview since he was suspended from the force after being charged with insurance fraud and official misconduct. “Tell your headline writers.”
Zisa declined comment on a range of topics during a 35-minute telephone conversation Thursday, including the charges against him and whether he hopes to return to the Police Department.
But he said repeatedly that the newspaper’s coverage has been unfair. He disputed an article published in The Record last month about his side work while he was chief, including a $5,000-a-month contract between his private security company — Krisant Security Associates LLC — and Bergen Regional Medical Center from January 2004 to December 2005.
The article reported a statement by the medical center’s management company in August 2007 that said the chief’s company provided “consulting” and “security services,” including the “employment of off-duty police officers,” in connection with a June 2004 nurses strike at the facility.
In a previous interview in 2007, Zisa said he paid Hackensack police through his company to work at the hospital, but would not talk about the kind of work they did. On Thursday, he again declined to say what those off-duty police officers did for the hospital.
“I’m not going to discuss that with you,” he said.
The article reported that state law prohibits active law-enforcement officers from owning a private-investigation or security company. Active police officers can do consulting work, such as recommending where security cameras should be placed, but they cannot be hired as independent contractors to provide investigations or security guards for hire, the law says.