ELIZABETH, N.J. — Authorities say a New Jersey police officer has been arrested at her department’s headquarters and charged with illegally collecting insurance benefits.

Thirty-nine-year-old Alana Velazquez, an officer with the Elizabeth Police Department, is accused of receiving more than $8,600 in disability benefits by falsifying how she was injured. NJ.com reports (http://bit.ly/2wtFLPG ) Velazquez was injured on the job in 2016, but prosecutors say she submitted false documents to her insurance company to make it look like she was injured off the job — for which she would be covered.

Her attorney, Joshua McMahon, says Velazquez is innocent and the charges are retaliation for prior actions. McMahon says Velazquez has a lawsuit pending against the city alleging discrimination.

Elizabeth Police Chief John Brennan says there’s no connection between Velazquez’s lawsuit and the charges.

Information from: NJ.com, http://www.nj.com

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.