Who is paying Curley’s Legal Fees? Are Those Fees Campaign Expenses?

Where is John Curley getting $300,000 to $500,000 to pursue his ridiculous lawsuit?

Angelo Genova, $850 per hour

Disgraced Freeholder John P. Curley’s attorneys, Genova Burns, submitted an invoice for $30,483.92 for their work on Curley’s contempt motion only yesterday in federal court.  Curley sued Monmouth County taxpayers, his fellow freeholders, County Administrator Teri O’Connor and County Counsel Michael Fitzgerald late last year in an effort to keep an investigative report into his alleged conduct of employee harassment, sexual and otherwise, from becoming public.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian R. Martinotti dismissed Curley’s 12 count suit (not covered in the $30,483.92 invoice), but held the freeholders in contempt for revealing parts of the report in their Censure and Reprimand Resolution of Curley in December.  Judge Martinotti ruled the County must pay Curley’s legal fees associated with the contempt motion.  The County has appealed the contempt ruling, arguing that the information in the Censure and Reprimand did not come from the investigative report prepared by retired Acting Supreme Court Justice Mary Catherine Cuff.

Curley’s attorneys billed 82.40 hours on the contempt motion, according to the invoice. Angelo Genova billed for 10.30 hours at $850 per hour; Nicholas Amato, three hours at $550 per hour; Lawrence Bluestone 23.80 hours at $375 per hour and Allison Benz 45.30 hours at $225. Total fees are $29,522.50 and there are expenses of $961.42.

So far, Monmouth County taxpayers have spent over $300,000 in fees to defend against Curley’s suit.  That meter will continue to tick, as Curley refiled his suit yesterday…he has to keep the Cuff report sealed to maintained his delusion that he can be reelected in November.  It’s a reasonable estimate that attorneys on both side of this case will earn a million dollars, give or take, by the time this nonsense is over.

Being a lawyer like Genova is a better gig than being a weatherman.  Judge Martinotti, an appointee of President Obama and former Democrat politician in Bergen County, ruled against Genova’s arguments on behalf of Curley and dismissed the suit.  But he gave Genova, Obama’s former attorney, 25 days to refile the suit and start the billing meter all over again, while ensuring that Judge Cuff’s report into Curley disgraceful conduct remains under seal.

Where is John Curley getting $300,000 to $500,000 to pursue this ridiculous lawsuit?

Curley is not a wealthy man.  According to his 2018 financial disclosure on file with the Division of Community Affairs, his only income is his $27,000 freeholder salary and whatever his brother’s car dealership, Jim Curley Buick GMC, is paying him.  The dealership does not list the disgraced freeholder in it’s employee directory. He disclosed that he owns a home in Middletown, which according to County records, is valued at $210,700 and is free of a mortgage lien.

So how is Curley footing his legal bills against Monmouth County taxpayers? Even if he mortgaged his house to pay his bills, he wouldn’t have enough to pay Genova Burns.

Maybe Genova Burns is paying their partners, associates and paralegals out of pocket in the hopes that they win and Monmouth County taxpayers will be ordered to pay their bill.  Maybe Curley’s brother Jim, or the car dealership is footing the bill.  Maybe Curley passed the hat at the Pour House.  Either way, the fees and contributions, real or in-kind, should be subject to the disclosure and limits of New Jersey’s campaign finance laws.

Curley has often argued publicly that his Censure and Reprimand, as well as his losing the support of the Monmouth County Republican Committee, is political retribution for his being a maverick. It doesn’t matter to John that he doesn’t really have a maverick record, overall.  By his own logic, Curley’s lawsuit is a political counterattack. His legal fees should be disclosed on his campaign finance reports with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.  Donations toward his legal fees should be subject to the NJ ELEC statutory limit of $2600 per donor.

It would have taken at least two donors to fund Genova’s work on April 30, 2018.  He billed Curley $3,825 for 4.50 hours work preparing for oral argument on the contempt motion, attendance at the oral argument and for talking to Curley when the argument was completed.

Curley has already reported his transportation expense to federal Court as a campaign expense.  He can’t honestly argue that his legal fees are not campaign expenses and that the donations to cover them are not reportable contributions.

Curley, a former Democrat and a former Republican, is now running as an Independent for Freeholder.  Both the Monmouth Democrats and Monmouth Republicans should file complaints with NJ ELEC for Curley’s obvious violations.

Posted: August 24th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

16 Comments on “Who is paying Curley’s Legal Fees? Are Those Fees Campaign Expenses?”

  1. Barry said at 12:18 pm on August 24th, 2018:

    NJ ELEC even if they find a violation will not adjudicate this case until well after the 11/6 election.

  2. Stop the Insanity! said at 12:40 pm on August 24th, 2018:

    When oh when is John Curley going to end this debacle? He is embarrassing the people of Monmouth with his presence and should resign immediately. He needs psychiatric help, Does anyone notice how in his mind, even though he fights with everyone and abuses workers and fellow officials, he is always whining that he is being picked on? He has got to go and now

  3. Spence said at 12:43 pm on August 24th, 2018:

    Make it stop already! I am so tired of these bozos

  4. @ spence said at 1:11 pm on August 24th, 2018:

    You can help stop this embarrassment by coming out in November and voting for Sue Kiley, a real class act who would restore the dignity that Curly has spent his time in office destroying

  5. Pam said at 8:36 pm on August 24th, 2018:

    The fees are out of control. This never should have gone on so long. John Curley did not get a guilty verdict. Charges were dismissed. Lawyers are taking advantage of all involved.

  6. @Pam said at 7:11 am on August 25th, 2018:

    I agree with you on everything you said. But this Falls squarely on the shoulders of John Curley. He is costing the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars with his crazy campaign to bully, threaten and abuse anyone who stands up to him. He is out of control and the only thing we taxpayers can do is throw him out of office. He doesn’t care about the taxpayers, never has and never will. It’s all about him getting quoted in the newspapers

  7. @ Pam said at 10:46 am on August 25th, 2018:

    Curley’s lawsuit against the County was dismissed. Not the Censure against him.

    Nor were that accusations dismissed.

    Let’s get it right.

  8. Reality: said at 10:59 am on August 25th, 2018:

    He will continue to take his salary and benefits right up until Dec. 31, when his term ends. It is up to us to get past this unfortunate period, by electing Kiley and Scharfenberger, and not let a Dem in, to begin Monmouth’s decline..

  9. @reality said at 1:12 pm on August 25th, 2018:

    Totally correct. For all those hardcore out there, a vote for John is a vote for a Democrat. Even if you believe the nonsense that John spews, that all these dozens of workers and women are lying, think of the good of the county. Vote for scharfenberger and Kiley and the rest of the ticket if we have any hope of keeping Monmouth the way it is.

  10. Clifford Case said at 1:46 pm on August 25th, 2018:

    Freeholders in contempt for revealing parts of the report in their Censure and Reprimand Resolution of Curley in December. Judge Martinotti ruled the County must pay Curley’s legal fees associated with the contempt motion. This was really the work of Freeholder Director Arnone, who is quite the dim bulb. These Freeholders and their leader Sheriff Golden are a gang who serve themselves at our expense. This public battle with Curley is ensuring that we will get some Democrats on the Board in 2019.

  11. Therein said at 2:15 pm on August 25th, 2018:

    lies the task before us: must re- double efforts, and focus on the job of electing two good candidates who have nothing to do with whatever has transpired: whatever any mistakes or miscalculations, let us be politically smart and go forward United, and not lower the bar and argument with recriminations. Waste of precious time and maybe the difference in votes, in November.

  12. @Clifford Case said at 4:09 pm on August 25th, 2018:

    If John Curley wasn’t such a corrupt low life, there would be no report in the first place. The fact that he is fighting tooth and nail to keep the truth from the public proves his corruption and his dishonesty. Other posters have put it right, we have to keep the eye on the prize and vote for the two strong candidates that the Republicans have running for Freeholder. I for one am glad that parts of the report got out there because it just goes to show that John Curley is a phony and a corrupt official who does not deserve to serve in office. The only way a Democrat will become a Freeholder this year is if the hardcore curly supporters don’t come to their senses and decide to go down with the ship with the most corrupt, dishonest official this county has ever seen

  13. Mrosa said at 4:17 pm on August 25th, 2018:

    Tom Arnone is claiming full responsibility for violating the judge’s order. You just gave the dems and Curley major ammo.

  14. @mrosa said at 5:30 pm on August 25th, 2018:

    Let me get this straight you have no problem with John Curley’s corruption, bullying, abuse of employees, threats, violence towards other freeholders, and that’s just what we know about, but you have a problem with the truth getting out to the taxpayers?

  15. @ @mrsoa said at 10:21 pm on August 25th, 2018:

    You nailed it with your comment.

    @Clifford Case

    If all you have is a personal attack on Tom Arnone, you’re just as bad as Curley and shows your desperation. Who knows, maybe you are actually a Curley supporter.

    A Dim Bulb?” I assure you, Arnone is always thinking two steps ahead. If there was nothing to the charges against Curley, why is he fighting to keep the information hidden.

    And if you think Lunging Larry or What’s Her Name are going to make it on to the Freeholder Board, well that’s just crazy talk.

  16. Reality Check said at 8:14 am on August 26th, 2018:

    Seems like everyone is missing a very important additional point. As Art points out it is almost impossible for someone making $27,000 a year to be able to afford the lawyers fees he is paying. Either he is hiding a lot of income from the IRS, or is using campaign funds and not declaring it. Either way it’s John being dishonest and unlawful. Just add this to the list of his other corrupt actions and this guy has got to go