Township settles suit with estate of Franklin detective who killed self

Home News Tribune (East Brunswick, New Jersey)

Franklin Township, NJ

The township has settled a lawsuit it filed against the estate of Detective William Furmick, who committed suicide in his office nearly a year ago.

The lawsuit claimed that Furmick's wife, Carol, was covered under the officer's medical insurance after the couple divorced. An investigation conducted by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, which provided Furmick's health insurance, determined that Furmick and his wife had divorced in March 1993.

The officer never notified the township of the change in his marital status.  Between the time of the divorce and Furmick's suicide on March 13, 2008, the township paid $88,008 in insurance premiums for Furmick, his ex-wife and children. Had Furmick disclosed that he was no longer married, the township would have been required to pay $47,309. Therefore, the township paid in premiums $40,698 more than it should have, according to a civil action filed in state Superior Court, Somerville.

The lawsuit alleged that Furmick and his ex-wife "fraudulently and intentionally deceived the township as to their marital status for a period of 15 years." Franklin Township initially sought to recover the $40,698 plus attorney's fees, but has authorized a settlement of $20,000 with the estate. Township officials declined to comment on the lawsuit or the settlement.

Furmick, 62, shot himself in the head after investigators found that the decorated 33-year officer had stolen more than $51,000 from the police department's evidence room. After his suicide, police discovered that Furmick was in desperate financial trouble, with 12 civil judgments against him, totaling more than $100,000. His wages also were being garnisheed, leaving little money for living expenses.

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