Former Scotch Plains PAL treasurer charged with misapplication of nonprofit funds

A Scotch Plains police officer has been charged with taking approximately $18,000 from the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Police Athletic League (PAL) for his own personal use, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.

Officer James Denman, 50, on Thursday was charged via summons with a single count of third-degree misapplication of trust funds.

A months-long investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit revealed that Denman, the former treasurer of the local PAL chapter, took the funds sometime in December 2013, while he was off-duty from his police work, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor John Esmerado, who is prosecuting the case. The funds were allegedly taken without the permission of any executive or board member of the PAL, which is a private nonprofit organization with a focus on youth sports. 

Denman then repaid the sum total of the previously taken funds back into the PAL account in April 2014, Esmerado said.

Denman’s first appearance in court is scheduled to take place on Monday, December 15 before Union County Presiding Judge Joan Robinson Gross.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.