MERCER COUNTY, N.J. (PBN) A park ranger is facing criminal charges after he stayed at his Hamilton home while he was supposed to be patrolling the Mercer county’s park.

An investigation led to the arrest of a Mercer County Park Ranger for falsifying patrol work logs. According to the probable cause affidavit, Ranger James Romano III is charged with official misconduct, tampering with public records or information, and theft by deception.

Between July 27, 2022, and January 17, 2023, the Mercer County Sherriff’s Office investigated James Romano III. During this time, officers learned Romano was falsifying patrol logs after observing him at his residence during patrol hours.

After surveillance, it was determined that the 34-year-old had spent approximately 298 ½ hours at home, unauthorized.  Romano collected approximately $5728.15 in stolen wages from Mercer County.

Investigators also discovered Romano submitted 64 patrol logs with fraudulent entries abetting him to obtain the swindled money.

Detectives interviewed the Deputy Director of Park Rangers Luis Reyes to confirm Romano was not permitted to return to his home outside of authorized breaks.

Thomas Peterson is the Editor in Chief and founder of Peterson’s Breaking News of Trenton. Thomas founded PBT in 2012.