At a hearing Tuesday, a municipal judge agreed to have the case heard by an out-of-town judge, The Times of Trenton reported. The judge also granted a request by the union representing city firefighters to have the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office take charge of the case.
The battle began June 8 when firefighters responded to an alarm at a high-rise building. Battalion Chief Steve Coltre said he told his driver to block the street with his sport utility vehicle to bar traffic from the fire scene.
Police officer Lawrence Davis ordered Coltre to move the SUV and gave his driver, firefighter Ken Stout, two tickets when he refused, including one for failing to display his driver's license.
Andrew Bayer, the fire union lawyer, said the tickets were illegal.
"There's a statute that says a fire chief controls a fire scene as a matter of law, and so police officers can't issue a ticket to a fire chief at a fire scene, which is what happened here," Bayer said.
While the police department has not commented on the case, an Internal Affairs investigation was reportedly under way.
Wayne Wolk, the fire union president, called the case "a waste of taxpayers' money" and "stupidity."
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