HELMETTA, N.J. — A New Jersey police officer who was caught on video this week saying police do not have to follow the Constitution because President Obama doesn't either resigned from his part-time job Thursday.
Special Police Officer Richard Recine, who was being investigated by the Borough of Helmetta Police Department's internal affairs unit as a result of the video, tendered his resignation Thursday morning.
Borough Administrator Herbert Massa said the resignation was accepted by Police Director Robert Manney, who had called Recine's comments an "embarrassment."
Recine also is an elected official, serving on the Board of Fire Commissioners of District 2 in Piscataway, N.J., where he lives and is a registered Democrat.
The video was first reported Wednesday by MyCentralJersey.com, which like USA TODAY, is owned by Gannett Co. Inc., and the story quickly went viral. The story was picked up by the Drudge Report and was the top story Thursday morning on the online community news website Reddit.
In the video, taken Monday at the borough's Municipal Building, Recine tells resident Steve Wronko that "Obama has decimated the friggin' Constitution, so I don't give a damn," after Wronko insist he has a constitutional right to take pictures inside the building.
"Because if he doesn't follow the Constitution we don't have to," Recine said. "Our president has decimated the Constitution, then we don't have to."
Recine worked as a part-time special police officer, earning an hourly wage while collecting a $79,000 annual pension for his retirement as a police officer from Franklin, N.J., in 2006.
Recine was a prominent member of the Franklin police force and was honored in 1999 for saving someone from committing suicide.
Manney said Wednesday that the internal affairs investigation would have been completed "swiftly" because "the evidence is right there."
Manney, however, defended the police's actions in questioning and asking Wronko to leave the building.