Incident arose from avoidance of process server, vehicular accident
According to a Superior Court of Cherry Hill representative, Haddonfield Commissioner Jeffrey S. Kasko was arraigned on Tuesday, Feb. 20, on assault charges for allegedly hitting a borough police officer with his car while the officer was investigating a collision between Kasko and a process server who tried to deliver divorce papers to him at his home.
Kasko appeared at a hearing on charges stemming from that Feb. 13 arrest. A March 20 date was confirmed for a pre-indictment conference hearing in Camden.
Kasko was charged with 10 separate offenses, including aggravated assault of a law-enforcement officer, during in an incident that began after a confrontation with a process server, according to police.
At 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 13, police responded to a report of an accident at Kasko’s home on Marne Avenue, according to a report released by Haddonfield Police Chief Jason Cutler.
Kasko had backed his black 2012 Volkswagen Passat out of his driveway, striking a process server’s white BMW, which was parked on Marne but partially blocking the driveway. Kasko subsequently left the scene and the process server called police. Patrolman Joni Frangieh initially responded.
The report revealed further that the process server had gone to Kasko’s home to deliver divorce papers. Kasko explained he crashed into the process server’s car in an attempt to get away from being served the legal documents.
Kasko was not at home when police initially arrived, but returned while Frangieh was investigating the earlier crash. According to an affidavit from Frangieh, he was struck by a side rear-view mirror on Kasko’s car as it sped from Princeton Avenue into the driveway at Kasko’s residence.
Frangieh was gesturing to get Kasko to slow down as the commissioner entered the driveway blowing his horn loudly. Frangieh complained of pain in his left hip, but sustained no other injuries from contact with the vehicle at low speed, according to the report.
Frangieh stated Kasko told him he had left the scene of the accident because he had errands to run. He said Kasko berated him and accused him of not maintaining a professional demeanor during the encounter. Once Kasko did not exit the vehicle upon instruction, Frangieh called for backup, and Kasko asked to speak with the police chief. Cpl. Jose Ortiz then arrived on the scene and found Kasko to be in an agitated state.
Also responding to the incident, according to the report, were Lt. Camiscioli, Ofc. Bowen, Detective Sgt. Mueller, Detective Cpl. Quicksell and Sgt. Caruso.
Kasko was additionally charged with assault with a motor vehicle and criminal mischief. Further charges include numerous motor vehicle offenses ranging from reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage, improper backing or turning into a street, failure to obey a signal from police, and failure to report an accident. He was remanded to Camden County Jail on a warrant for aggravated assault of a police officer, and also issued a summons for reckless driving which caused vehicular damage in excess of $2,000. He was held overnight and released the next day.
The 54-year-old Kasko, who served as mayor from 2013–17 immediately prior to current borough head Neal Rochford, also serves as commissioner for revenue and finance.
While neither Kasko, nor Commissioner John Moscatelli nor Mayor Neal Rochford responded directly on the matter, Borough Administrator Sharon McCullough issued the following statement via email to The Sun in response:
“I have spoken with Commissioner Moscatelli. The Borough, along with Commissioner Moscatelli and Mayor Rochford, do not have a comment as it is a private personal matter. With regards to your other questions, Commissioner Kasko is able to perform the duties of Commissioner until convicted of a crime that would prohibit him from doing so. Mayor Rochford is home from the hospital and will slowly begin to pick his various duties back up. I expect him to be at the meeting on Feb. 26.”