Police bodycam video sheds light on DWI arrest of Sussex GOP chairman Jerry Scanlan

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Sparta police body camera footage of Sussex County GOP Chairman Jerry Scanlan's drunken driving arrest shows the former county college vice chair placed in handcuffs after fumbling around and stuttering his words as he struggles to complete a series of field sobriety tests.

The video footage, obtained by the New Jersey Herald through a records request, shows a cooperative but confused Scanlan, 55, of Hopatcong, unable to explain what happened or how much he had to drink at the local VFW Post as he speaks to Sparta Cpl. Mark Mastandrea and Officer Michael Poon, who each raised immediate concerns over Scanlan's possible insobriety.

Scanlan was arrested around 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 19 in the parking lot of a realty company off Woodport Road in Sparta after police say, while traveling south, he crashed his Nissan Xterra into a Lexus SUV stopped at the light at the intersection of Wynona Parkway. No injuries were reported.

Scanlan, who has served at the helm of the county's Republican committee since 2015, was overly agreeable when first approached by officers following the crash, shaking an officer's hand and asking his name and stating "I'm sorry" in what would be the first of many apologies he would make.

Scanlan will have his first appearance in June in the Frankford Joint Municipal Court after the case was adjourned several times in the shared municipal court of Sparta/Hamburg/Ogdensburg. It was not immediately known why the case was transferred, nor why it was pushed back several months. Scanlan, in a phone call after his arrest, noted he was going away for six weeks in April, which may have played a factor.

Scanlan did not return calls for comment this week. Newton-based attorney David Dumbroff is listed as Scanlan's defense attorney. Calls and emails left for him were not returned.

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