Belmar Mayor “Lawless Matt” Doherty got spanked in Court again yesterday.
Stating that Belmar’s argument was “unavailing” and that Doherty, et al had not demonstrated a likelihood that their appeal would succeed, New Jersey’s Appellate Court denied an emergency motion to stay the referendum on the ethics/pay to play ordinance passed last February. The referendum will take place on September 27 per Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Katie Gummer’s July 15th Order.
The ordinance that the Belmar Council passed in February would have allowed Doherty to accept donations from borough vendors, professionals and liquor licensees and to accept secret donations in the amounts of $300 or less for his campaign for Monmouth County Freeholder. The current ordinance, which has been in effect for 12 years, prohibits those donations. A committee of Belmar citizens filed a valid petition challenging the ordinance under the Faulkner Act which the borough rejected with no explanation or legal justification. The committee sued and Judge Gummer ruled that the new ordinance has never taken effect, that the old ordinance is “the law of the land” and that a referendum will take place on September 27 in accordance with the Faulkner Act.
Doherty and his other defendants argued that the new ordinance they passed has errors and that the old ordinance is unconstitutional. Gummer rejected those arguments and the Appellate Division said it would rule on them after the referendum takes place.
“Lawless Matt” and the Monmouth County Democrats have bragged on other sites that a large percentage of the donations Dirty Doherty has received for his campaign have been under $300. Yet, Doherty has not disclosed who has made those donations as “the law of the land” requires.
Belmar taxpayers are footing 100% of the legal fees for this ongoing litigation because Judge Gummer ruled that Doherty et al violated the civil rights and disenfranchised borough voters. Ken Pringle, a former Belmar mayor and the lead attorney challenging Doherty’s actions said that the fees, which ultimately will be determined by Judge Gummer, are “enormous.”