NJ Official Charged in Head-on Crash With Drugs, Alcohol
LACEY — The state's suspended Deputy Department of Corrections Commissioner was arrested following an August crash that left her with serious injuries.
Township police on their Facebook on Aug. 8 posted about a head-on collision on Lacey Road near Dover Road. They said a 2021 black Land Rover driven by a 46-year-old woman collided with a 77-year-old woman driving a gray 2005 Mazda Tribute.
The Land Rover burst into flames and the driver suffered "significant injuries" while the Mazda driver was flown to Jersey Shore University Medical Center with serious injuries.
No one was charged at the time and the identities of the driver were not disclosed.
Charges against DOC official
Tracey C. Shimonis-Kaminski, 46, was charged with assault by auto/vessel on Oct. 5, according to Ocean County Jail records. She was released the same day.
According to a complaint posted by New Jersey Monitor, Shimonis-Kaminski was under the influence of alcohol and alprazolam (Xanax) at the time.
She crossed the center line of the two-lane road, investigators said.
Time between crash and arrest
A law enforcement source not part of the investigation told New Jersey 101.5 that the crash forced Shimonis-Kaminski into physical rehab.
It's not known why there was a delay in Shimonis-Kaminski's arrest. Lacey Police did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's message asking about the arrest.
Has been suspended from job since last year
Shimonis-Kaminski has been on paid suspension from her position since February 2022 and banned from all Department of Corrections facilities because of an investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity & Accountability (OPIA), according to an NJ.com report.
Notes from an executive staff meeting announcing her suspension obtained by NJ.com said her vehicle and electronics were seized by investigators.
Put on paid suspension when OAG investigation begins
Willie Bonds was named the acting deputy commissioner and remains in the position, according to the Department of Corrections website.
The Attorney General's Office told New Jersey 101.5 the office doesn’t confirm or deny the existence of investigations. and the Department of Corrections on Monday afternoon did not respond to a request for more information about the investigation. State offices were closed on Monday for the Columbus Day holiday.
Animals gone wild in NJ: Turkeys, tigers, snakes, bears and more
Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt
Spirit Halloween is back! Here's every NJ location for 2023
Gallery Credit: Mike Brant