Golden Cites NJ Court Case Affirming Sheriffs’ Right To Hold Party Office In Rebuke Of McEnery and Graziano

Shaun Golden

Shaun Golden

Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden issued a strong rebuke to Manalpan GOP Chairman Steve McEnery and Freehold Township Republican Chairman Anthony Graziano for violating President Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment with a false and malicious smear that he characterized as “a clear act of desperation.”

Responding to a letter McEnery and Graziano released to MMM this morning in which the chairmen raised ethical questions about the prospect of Golden serving as Sheriff and Monmouth Republican Chairman simultaniously, Golden cited the 1978 Appellate Division decision in Lanzo v.DeMarino wherein the Court ruled that there is no conflict in the duties of a County Sheriff and a municipal chairman in a letter to both men.  Golden’s letter can be found here.

Golden called upon his opponent in the Chairman’s race, incumbent John O. Bennett III, to implore his supporters, “as I have mine, to keep it positive and publicly disavow this personal negative and incorrect attack.”

Golden wrote:

I am greatly disappointed in the letter you made public this morning questioning my personal integrity, in a clear act of desperation to malign my reputation in gross violation of Ronald Reagan’s 11th Amendment.  Friends and supporters have suggested that I respond in kind by attacking my opponent, but I will not stoop to the same level you have.  Instead, I will directly address your false and malicious personal attack.


Had you consulted me or a reputable attorney prior to sending your ill advised missive, you would know that our State’s courts have directly addressed the issue of County Sheriffs serving in political party offices, a right which is also protect by the United States Constitution that I am sworn to uphold and take very seriously.  See Lanza v. DeMarino, 160 NJ Super. 71 (App. Div. 1978).


Based on this and other legal precedents, it is widely known that there is no conflict created by elected officials, including sheriffs, holding the position of county chairman, as evidenced, for example, by the service of outstanding Republican elected officials such as Senator Sam Thompson, Senator Kevin O’Toole, and Assemblyman Scott Rumana.


My opponent pledged to run a positive campaign for chairman.  Accordingly, I hope that he will call upon his supporters, as I have with mine, to keep it positive and publicly disavow this personal negative and incorrect attack.


I look forward to continuing my positive message about building a bright future for our party and I will continue to be there to support all Monmouth Republicans, as I have done for many years.


MMM will attempt to reach McEnery, Graziano and Bennett for comment on Saturday morning.

Posted: May 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: John Bennett, Monmouth GOP, Shaun Golden | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 74 Comments »

74 Comments on “Golden Cites NJ Court Case Affirming Sheriffs’ Right To Hold Party Office In Rebuke Of McEnery and Graziano”

  1. To the Mom said at 11:27 am on May 24th, 2014:

    Sorry to hear about the death of anyone regardless of background unfortunately
    You are in denial – accordingly from what I read in your blog above your son killed himself with drugs – the Sheriff is no more responsible than you are as your son’s parent
    Put the blame where it needs to be going through life blaming others for ones problems is denial. Sorry to say your son caused his demise

  2. Golden said at 11:30 am on May 24th, 2014:

    Will be an excellent Chairman vote for Shaun Golden we need a breath of fresh air and renewal of the numerous members sitting on the sidelines left out cold due to petty politics

  3. Tim H said at 1:26 pm on May 24th, 2014:

    This is what Golden Boy does. Makes you sick. Below is a report of how Golden Boy helps people “rip” off tax payers by hiring cronies and triple dippers. See for yourself. I feel sick:

    “Faced with controversy, Sheriff Shaun Golden – Guadagno’s successor – found a way to protect his office and Donovan. In February, Golden gave Donovan a raise and promoted him to undersheriff, a position not subject to PFRS rules. So Donovan continues his double-dipping ways, more lucrative than ever. Theodore Freeman retired from Monmouth County in January 1996 and was rehired as undersheriff in June 2002. Freeman, 65, receives $151,000 a year – his $92,000 salary plus $59,000 in pension.

    If Sheriff Golden objects to double-dipping, he has a funny way of showing it. He hired double-dipper #3 – Undersheriff Robert J. Dawson – earlier this year. Dawson, 47, retired from the Spring Lake police on Feb. 1. Two weeks later, he was sworn into office as a Monmouth County undersheriff. His double-take totals $184,000 a year – his$88,000 salary plus a $96,000 pension.”

  4. @ Tim H said at 3:51 pm on May 24th, 2014:

    Same old “double dipping” and really tired old story from Jim Sage and Dan Peters who are upset at not getting jobs and blown out at election time.

    Is this all you got?

    There is “nothing there,” nothing illegal. Otherwise, like with Governor Christie, the Democrats would be turning over every leaf trying to charge on something.

    You tin foil hat nuts think that by repeating something it will come true.

    You don’t like it, CHANGE THE SYSTEM…

    Now, do any of you backseat quarterbacks ever think that maybe Sean sees something from his perspective that can be done better, something from his perspective that just ain’t right the way party politics have been going?

    That said, I am STILL waiting on more facts re: the “death that occurred under the Sheriff’s watch.” If there is something there, we need to know. But, a cursory search of the internet found NOTHING…

    If someone is going to post such a serious charge, they ought to present more info lest they falsely charge someone. Until I see such facts, I do not believe it.

    @ red skelton?

    I see you are another one laying charges about something nefarious. How about bringing some facts to the table before you infer someone is doing something illegal.

    your “middleclassjoe” blog seems nothing more than a muckracking attempt by people with union and liberal leanings. Actually, it reads more like a “Hate Christie” blog.


    STILL, Actually Getting More


  5. Oh go said at 1:16 am on May 25th, 2014:

    cry me a river @DISGUSTED. There are real questions that need real answers. Quit your whining.

  6. @ Oh Go said at 4:58 am on May 25th, 2014:

    you first.

    Most of this is based on a false issue that Jim Sage, et al keep dredging up. An issue that has no legal basis to complain about.

    Charges have been leveled about a death at the jail and something else in Colt’s Neck.


    Nothing despite several requests here. If there are questions there, WHERE ARE THOSE ANSWERS

    The only issue I see is whether Shaun can be Sheriff and Chair. And from what I see, yes he can. So people need to stop with the hate and then insults.

    People ought to be looking under Bennett’s rug to see what he swept there.


  7. Tim H said at 9:01 am on May 25th, 2014:

    Golden Boy is simply not read to be chair. This is in addition to the list of likely indiscretions. Let us begin:

    1) No real experience running a political operation. Shows up 5 years ago and gets elected on a powerful line. Any R could have been elected Sherriff. This was not some issue over “Golden Boy is so great”. Strong line, he won.

    2) Has never had to make “tough decisions” about politics or candidates.

    3) His own town is a bloody mess politically. Has a bitter primary and instead of trying to intervene and resolve, he sat on the side lines saying he could not get involved. This would have been the place to show he had some “balls” and try to get engaged and resolve. He took the easy way out. Guess what; when you are chair you can’t do that.

    4) He encouraged Walsh to run against Rich. Openly did so as he wanted to dump Gary. Why go after an incumbent? Because Gary is not as loud and as brash as Walsh? We saw how well that worked out. Lied to Gary’s face about it. Golden Boy was one of the main culprits to cause all the bad blood over the Rich-Walsh saga and he is at it again.

    5) Bennett has been a fine chairman. We picked up more municipalities under his watch. Cleared out the debt at HQ, tampered down the Tea Party threats and have raised money. There is less intra party fighting (except Golden boy attempted to dump Rich with his boy Bobby Walsh) and Bennett worked his tail off to get Golden boy elected. He then tried to even get Golden Boy to run for Congress and spoke him up!

    6) Golden Boy is an opportunist. “Hey look at me, I’m a big shot…. my brother is head coach at Miami…. I’m so smart and handsome….. I’m the Sherriff!” Enough already. Do your job as Sherriff. He stabbed Bennett in the neck. No loyalty or appreciation at all. Look out other chairs…. he’ll be looking toil dump you to.

    So this is more than just Golden Boy hiring people he should not and inflating his payroll. Its about leadership, competence and character. Golden Boy comes up short on each. Bennett deserves another term and it is that simple.

  8. @Tim H said at 10:40 am on May 25th, 2014:

    A 1978 letter? How about we cite some cases from the 1940s and 1950s while we are at it.

    I bet the Constitution would be just toilet paper for people like Tim.

    Shows up 5 years ago from some hibernation and now he is the savior?

    How long did Bennett hybernate since being thrown out of the Senate until he decided he needs more municipal jobs?

    We picked up more municipalities under his watch

    How many? Except for Keyport, Hazlet…

  9. Boo-hoo said at 1:49 pm on May 25th, 2014:

    hoo politics is a rough business Boo-hoo hoo people ask hard questions Boo-hoo hoo mommy I’m so @DISGUSTED

  10. @ Tim H said at 2:30 pm on May 25th, 2014:

    Oh Tim, where do we start

    1) Anyone that can run a Sheriff’s office like Monmouth County’s successfully can run the Monmouth County GOP

    2) Tough Decisions????? Shaun Golden has never handled tough decisions? That’s delusional Tim.

    3) His town is a mess. YES, it is. But you are blaming the wrong guy. John Costigan is the Municipal Chair, as well as a State Committeeman. You ought to be complaining to him.

    4) He encouraged Walsh. This wasn’t Walsh’s first time out of the box. He’s run twice before. I think Walsh already wanted to run.

    5) Bennett’s reign has been far from perfect and if anyone has been practicing cronyism, it’s he.

    6) You would wish you had half the character of a Shaun Golden. All people in politics have egos. They have to in order to run and win.

    Your arguments have been thoroughly deflated.

  11. Kathy Baratta said at 2:36 pm on May 25th, 2014:


    Inasmuch as you fancy yourself a journalist why don’t you interview Golden regarding points three and four, brought up by Tim H.

    He makes a valid point. Notwithstanding the fact that Walsh is a buffoon and that alone begs the question why Golden would ally himself with one such as Walsh, the question still remains if Golden can’t herd the cats in his own town how on earth is he going to corral the county?

  12. @ Kathy said at 4:11 pm on May 25th, 2014:

    In as much as you fancy yourself to know everything, do you NOT get that Shaun Golden is NOT in charge of the Howell Township Republican Party?

    John Costigan is.

  13. Tim H said at 6:42 pm on May 25th, 2014:

    So Golden Boy hides behind a “blame Costigan” mantle? Really? If things went bad in Colts Neck don’t you think Liliane would have at least shown up to try and help? If things went bad in Holmdel, don’t you think Serena would have been at the table? If things went south in Neptune City, don’t you bet Tommy would be there? Of course! The fact is Golden Boy has no experience or gravitas. A real leader would have pushed their way in and tried to help. Forget it being his issue to fix —- the factors are Golden Boy was a total NO SHOW. Let the whole thing go off the rails and sat back. Just sickening. And after his own town blows up while he is a NO SHOW we are to entrust the whole County to him? Really? I say he again, anyone who got the lie would have won with Christie at the top last year and when he won before, he also had the line and strong ticket. The Howell mess is his as well and he owns a part of it and if Chair, what would do x 52 other places. This is not time for the junior varsity. We need Bennett. Let Golden Boy earn his stripes and learn a bit. And to Barratt’s point, I’ll guarantee Golden Boy NEVER does an interview with Art and certainly not about Howell —- after al,. He tells everyone he is from Colts Neck. What a mess he had made yet again for us all. Thanks Golden Boy.

  14. @ Tim H said at 6:51 pm on May 25th, 2014:

    My God Sir, “Are You Stuck On Stupid?”

    Costigan runs the Howell Township GOP.

    And, you are one insulting cur. Are you sure you are not a relative of Jim Sage?

  15. Name (required) said at 6:55 pm on May 25th, 2014:

    Is there any reason why you will not post my comment?

  16. Heartbroken mother said at 6:59 pm on May 25th, 2014:

    Is there an reason you will not post my comment?

  17. Tim H said at 12:01 pm on May 26th, 2014:

    John Costigan runs Howell? Really? What is he, Mubarak? Get real. Golden Boy watched for many years the massive slide downward in Howell and did NOTHING. Never tried to get involved; never tried to settle the issues; never did a thing. Said he needed to be above the fray. That is BS. And they have a primary for the first time in like 15 years there. Good job Golden Boy. If he had any “balls” he would have at least tried. Instead he took the easy way out and hid. And we are to entrust him with the whole County? Seriously? He needs to be held somewhat accountable for the mess in his own backyard! But he smiles, waves and tries to get a pass. Then a few months back he tries to engineer a coup by trying to dump Gary Rich and push Bobby Walsh for Freeholder (3x loser). Bobby has no plan other than back-slaps people “and pull his belly up to the bar” (his own words) and buy everyone a round! That was Act I in the mess he engineered that caused bad blood and lots of division. We saw how well that worked out.

    Now we have him planning another coupe where he will merely be a puppet for the big towns that want to run the whole county. We have been down that road before.

    Golden Boy is running for all the wrong reasons; 1) power hungry, 2) get his friends jobs, 3) gear up to challenge Chris Smith for Congress in 2 years and 3) turn over the party to the big boys from the big towns who will run everything from the top.

    Wake up people: you can see where this is headed. A supporter of the “triple dip” who is trying to ride the Golden Boy name to higher office and just using Chairman’s role as another stepping stone.

    Watch as he next goes after Chris Smith in a primary in 2 years (before he has to safely run for Sheriff) telling us he has to go, he has ben there too long and that he is not here enough. You Watch! He’ll use the same tactics he is using on Bennett to try and take out Chris Smith; one of the best public servants in the history of the NJ Congressional delegation. But that won’t matter to Golden boy….. you watch.

    Howell is a mess; he pushes to dump incumbents who have done a good job; stabs friends in the back and wants to ultimately take on Chris Smith (ask him to deny it – he won’t). ENOUGH!

  18. @ Tim H said at 3:59 pm on May 26th, 2014:

    Since a hater could not take Memorial Day off, I think it’s only proper to respond.

    YES, John Costigan IS the municipal chair in Howell, responsible for party operations.

    As to your other charges, you have proof that he wants to run for Chris Smith’s seat?

    Costigan is NOT Mubarak, but you are certainly one hateful tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist.

  19. Tim H said at 4:33 pm on May 26th, 2014:

    I am far from a hater. The fact is the “truth hurts” and people need to know the facts. The fact is Golden Boy’s own town is a bloody mess and he did NOTHING to try and fix it. That is not the mark of a chairman or leaders. And have Golden Boy go on record that he will not challenge Cogressman Smith. Just ask; guarantee he will not rule it out. The overwhelming facts suggest this is not his time to be chairman. See above but for those that need it again:


    1) no real experience running political oranization at all. showed up 5 years ago without any experience.

    2) his own town a mess and he did nothing to help fix it. he sat it out and did not want to be involved. He did not have the “balls” to lead.

    3) he is terribly conflicted as county wide elected official that wants to be party-boss. Can you say ethics charges to follow in the future, blowing up in our face?

    4) he was the chief engineer that led failed coupe to dump a popular sitting Freeholder, Gary Rich, with an unquaified, over the top 3x loser, Bobby Walsh. The failed coupe once again caused division and disharmony in the ranks that he fostered and led; after lying to Gary’s face.

    5) He has messes in his own department by hiring triple dippers on the tax-payer dime.

    6) He has not political loyalty to anyone or anything. Only to himself and will stab anyone in the back —- or in the chest — to further his own selfish causes.

    7) He wants to turn over the County politcal machine over to a handful of the big towns and return to the old days where you had to be from a big town to be anybody.

    8) He wants to dole out more county jobs to people when he is conflicted.

    9) He plans to use the sherriff’s office and county chairman’s job to be a “defacto” County Executive; a role not allowed under this county form of government.

    10) He will/plans to use chair to build chips and topple sitting outstanding Congressman Chris Smith in 2 years. As chairman he can give himself the line and dump Smith, a supremely competent Congressman.

    Should we go on? This is just bad for the County and the Party and it needs to stop. I barely know Bennett but I know he has won elections, raised money and restored sanity. Just because Golden Boys says its “his time” does not entitle him to anything.

    The facts dont’t lie. He should end his candidacy and work with Bennett and learn the ropes and perhaps succceed Bennett wen he steps aside.

  20. Middletowner said at 11:38 pm on May 26th, 2014:

    I’d like for anyone to take on Chris Smith, who’s one of the most liberal Republicans in Congress (there are Dems who are rated to his right). There’s no big spending program he hasn’t voted for, he voted for cap & trade and he sponsored the defunct card check

  21. My vote is Golden said at 12:14 am on May 27th, 2014:

    1) He has won landslide elections, Bennett wanted him to run against Pallone, who has held the seat for a LONG time. Obvious Bennett had confidence in him

    2) Golden is not the municipal chair but supports his town and the candidates

    3) Not one once of evidence, clearly speculation of what someone with no ethics would end up

    4) there was divided support for each candidate, FRANKLY burry only won by 30ish votes, If 15 people had changed their minds, Walsh would be the candidate

    5) The employees of the sheriff’s dept are the most qualified people for the job, hire someone else because the other candidate has a pension and your looking at a discrimination lawsuit! DUH

    6) So you have a problem with doing what is RIGHT, instead of shady backdoor deals that benefit select people.

    7) Big towns bring in big votes, it is what it is, Golden wants more support for smaller towns where there is room for improvement and opportunity.

    8) Bennett’s Motto- friends and family!

    9) Citing your own words- “a role not allowed under this county form of government.” Nice try, Golden is not god.

    10) Why would he want a job when you have to spend 3/4 of your time in DC, Shaun has younger kids and loves Monmouth county, he could have run against Pallone and probably had a good shot.

  22. Tim H said at 7:30 am on May 27th, 2014:

    Very weak support for Golden and see how his supporters are already attacking Congressman Smith —- it begins already, earlier than predicted.

    Don’t be confused:

    1. Golden Boy stood by and let Howell disintegrate and did NOTHING. He demonstrated he has no “balls” and does not want to get his hands dirty. He has not demonstrated even a little the ability to manage political issues. Pathetic when you want to run the County and you can help fix your own town!

    2. He has no real political experience. He can thank Christie for helping his latest win. Anyone deny that?

    3. He will be terribly conflicted as a County wide elected official and Party Boss. This alone is a huge issue.

    4. The chairmanship is all part of a plan and that plan is to help himself. As chairman, he can and will give himself the line and dump Congressman Smith. What power! With nearly all of the district in Monmouth, he can rig the election and win in a primary with the power of the line.

    It is a safe seat and a custom made district for a Republican. Its a brilliant strategy and as chair, he can pull it off. He’ll use the same approach he is using on Bennett —- Smith is out of touch, been there too long, time for a change, etc. Then he plan to run for Governor in 2020 —- just watch.

    All of this has been carefully planned.

    You see Golden Boy has someone on the inside who is a “blabber mouth” and shares all of this with a few. The “blabber mouth” is really not a Golden Boy fan and is using the inner post to stay at the table but get out enough info to keep Golden Boy in check. Golden Boy will come to learn this soon enough. Careful who you trust Golden Boy.

    And who will Golden Boy make as his Vice Chair? That is the future power and that is who we need to see. Any ideas?

    The Golden Boy supporters who stand to get a job, keep typing and keep hiding your names. The rest of us that know the truth will keep sharing it.

  23. Middletowner said at 8:41 pm on May 27th, 2014:

    Tim H doesn’t have enough foresight. Golden actual plan is to run for President in 2024

  24. @Tiny Tim said at 1:05 pm on May 28th, 2014:

    You are getting pretty lonely here, Spring Lake just jumped onboard with Golden!
    I know the holidays are a long way off, so I will buy you a new record player so you can enjoy your summer!

    Someone turn off Tiny Tim’s broken record. It keeps playing the same sad song, “Bennetts out for Summer”