Waterfront Detective’s Cheating Heart


A Waterfront Commission detective who wanted to be a
contender went down for three counts today – of perjury.

James Sutera, 28, was arrested by the Manhattan District
Attorney’s office and charged with lying to New York
State’s Inspector General about how he came to get the
highest score in the agency’s history on a routine
qualifying application.

The bistate commission, which is charged with keeping
wiseguys off the docks, has been the target of an ongoing
corruption probe since a pair of whistle-blowing former
chiefs at the troubled agency told state officials about
corruption and cronyism there two years ago. As the Voice
reported this month, Sutera got his job as a detective with
the backing of former New Jersey commissioner Michael
Madonna, and after twice flunking the qualifying exam.
Sutera, of Woodland Park, N.J., took the test a third time
after Madonna demanded a copy of the test. The next time he
took it, Sutera scored a 98 – the highest ever.

A year later, Sutera allegedly offered to do the same favor
for another detective-wannabe, a generous offer that raised a few questions. Sutera is to be arraigned this afternoon.