Edison Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Firebombing his Supervisor’s House

NEW BRUNSWICK – A former Edison officer struck a deal with the prosecutor’s office Monday resolving two arson cases and a host of charges, including multiple counts of attempted murder in the firebombing of his supervisor’s house four years ago.

Michael Dotro, 40, of Manalapan, pleaded guilty to attempted murder and second-degree arson in the May 2013 incident where the ex-cop set fire to Mark Anderko’s house while his family slept inside, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said.

The prosecutor’s office has said Dotro was angry with Edison’s now-deputy chief, who, days before the fire, had ordered the 10-year veteran of the force to undergo a fitness-for-duty evaluation with a psychologist after his 11th excessive force complaint, authorities said.

Under a plea agreement, Dotro will be sentenced to 20 years in state prison, Assistant Prosecutor Russell Curley said. He must serve 17 years before he is eligible for parole.

Dotro’s attorney, Robert Norton, said while he and his client were not happy with the results of the plea agreement, it ends a four-and-a-half-year battle and multiple charges and allegations.

“It was a global resolution of all charges,” he said.

Dotro also pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree official misconduct as part of the trial in which he and his wife are accused of slashing the tires on a woman’s car and checking police records illegally for a suspect, according to authorities.

The couple, whose trial had opening statements scheduled for Tuesday, was accused of threatening the woman who worked in the police department and had an affair with Dotro.

The charges against his wife, Alycia, are still pending, the prosecutor’s office said. Her attorney, Richard Incremona, did not return calls for comment.

The accusations of misconduct against Dotro, which included buying marijuana while in uniform — allegedly for his wife — and possessing the drug, came out in the months after the arson charges as the prosecutor’s office probed the officer’s history in the department.

He was also charged with having illegal weapons as an officer, including a blackjack and brass knuckles. All of those charges will be dismissed as part of the plea.

In addition, Dotro admitted to trying to intimidate a witness scheduled to testify at his trial, the prosecutor’s office said. Authorities charged Dotro with third-degree conspiracy to tamper with a witness on Thursday, two days after jury selection started in the misconduct trial.

He was jailed since Friday on the charges.

The plea deal also dismisses charges in connection to an additional alleged arson plot in which the officer is accused of working with a fellow cop to burn down another supervisor’s house. The plot never materialized but authorities said they found evidence of the plan last November.

Dotro will be sentenced Dec. 7 in New Brunswick by Superior Court Judge Pedro Jimenez.

Earlier this year, Dotro pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, admitting he sought to get payback against a North Brunswick officer who had ticketed his family member for drunk driving, authorities said.

Three other Edison cops admitted to their roles in the plot as part of the plea deal, which required all the officers to resign in September.