Posted Tuesday, September 13th, 2016


Prosecutor 2Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp has announced that Maurice Underhill, 53, of Dover, has been arrested and charged with bribery and falsifying or tampering with public documents in connection with his role as community service coordinator through a program at a Morristown church.

An investigation revealed that the defendant, Underhill, had volunteered as the community service coordinator for the Church of the Redeemer in Morristown. Underhill was not an employee of the Department of Probation, but acted as an agent for the department.

The investigation found that Underhill, as community service coordinator, agreed that for a monetary fee paid to him, he would report to the Morris County Department of Probation that a subject had completed the community service hours, when, in fact, the hours were not fulfilled.

He was charged with one count of Bribery, one count of Falsifying or Tampering with Records, one count of Commercial Bribery, and one count of Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function, in relation to his soliciting and receiving money from a person who was ordered to complete court-ordered community service.

Underhill was instructed that he would have to report on and supervise those subjects who were specifically assigned by the Department of Probation to complete a community service agreement by doing their service through the Church of the Redeemer program.

As such, the defendant was responsible for the tracking and keeping of accurate records for all subjects assigned to the Church of the Redeemer by the Probation Services Division of the Superior Court in the Morris/Sussex Counties Vicinage.

Prosecutor Fredric A. Knapp

Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp

The defendant, Underhill, was responsible for reporting all community service hours, completed by each respective Probation client, to the Probation Services Division on a month-to-month basis.

In July of 2016, the defendant received payment from the probationer and then falsely reported that the probationer had completed the court-ordered hours of supervision.

Underhill was arrested on August 31.  Bail was set at $15, 000 with a 10 percent cash alternative by the Superior Court Judge Catherine Enright. The defendant made bail on that same date. The venue of prosecution has been transferred to Passaic County, pursuant to a court order.  The date of the defendant’s first appearance has not yet been set.

Prosecutor Knapp stated, “The investigation commenced as a result of the prompt notification to law enforcement by personnel of the Department of Probation in Morris County.  Any questions regarding the status of the community service site, should be directed to the Administrative Office of the Courts.”

Anyone having further information concerning the defendant or any similar activity should contact Detective Thomas Primo of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at (973) 285-6200.

Any inquiriesshould be directed to Public Information Officer Paul Merkler at [email protected] or 973-285-6215.