Ocean Township Employee Alleges Sexual Harassment and Property Tax Fraud

Mayor Christopher Siciliano downplays the allegations as greed and politics

In a law suit filed on April 22, Meredith Nelson, the Deputy Director of Finance of Ocean Township, alleged that her supervisor, Stephen Gallagher (no relation to the editor of this website), the Director of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of the Township, habitually harassed her and other female employees of the Township.

Ms Nelson charges that the Township Manager, Michael Muscillo, took no action when she first brought the situation to his attention last August, six months into her employment, other than ordering her to take a “pre-employment drug test.  When she complained of the ongoing harassment again in January of this year, Gallagher retaliated by ceasing all communication with her, “intentionally ignoring her existence,” thereby preventing her from doing her job.  Three months latter, in March, Gallagher met with Nelson and and Muscillo to deliver a 12 page employment improvement plan which included instructions on which calculator to use, where her computer monitor and other business equipment was to be placed in her work area and instructions to seek certification as a Tax Collector…a position she explicitly declined in her pre-employment negotiations with the Township.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 7th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, New Jersey, News, Ocean Township | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Is Christie headed for a great fall?

By Art Gallagher


Graphic by Robert Hazelrigg. Click on photo for RobertHazelrigg.com

Prominent New Jersey Republicans seem to finally be moving out of Governor Chris Christie’s shadow.

This afternoon The Star Ledger reported that Monmouth County State Senator Joe Kyrillos was among the 15 or so New Jersey Republicans who met with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a top rival of Christie’s for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination, last week at a dinner hosted by Lawrence E. Bathgate.  Bathgate, an Ocean County attorney, is one of the top Republican fundraisers in the nation.  Also attending the dinner held at the Union Club in Manhattan was Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr, according to The Record’s Charles Stile, who first reported the event.

Such potential defections from the Christie camp were unthinkable just 15 months ago.  Christie’s attempt at ousting Kean as Senate Minority Leader immediately following his 2013 re-election, and the resulting fallout as Kean, Jr’s father, the former Governor, went national in criticizing Christie can explain the younger Kean’s flirtation with the Bush campaign.

But Kyrillos being anything other than solidly in Christie’s corner is big news.  Their relationship was personal before it was political.  Christie introduced Kyrillos to his wife Susan. He swore Christie into his first elected office, Morris County Freeholder. Kyrillos was the Chairman of the Christie for Governor campaign in 2009.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: January 21st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Joe Kyrillos, Monmouth County, Tom Kean JR, Tom Kean Sr | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

Monmouth’s “Rising Stars”

Gopal, Doherty and Nelson make Gannett’s ‘Other” List

Brian Nelson. Asbury Park Press Photo

Brian Nelson. Asbury Park Press Photo

In addition to the list of twelve ‘rising stars’ that Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande made on Sunday, Gannett published a list of 15 ‘up and comers’ to keep an eye on that includes three Monmouth players.

Democrats Vin Gopal, the 27 year old county chairman and Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, 39 made the list.  Noticeably absent among Democrats were Marlboro Mayor Jonathon Hornik and Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long.

Gopal, from West Long Branch, ran for Assembly in the 11th District in 2011 before being elected county chairman in 2012.  It remains to be seen if the Monmouth Democratic party will become more competitive under Gopal’s leadership, but there is no question that he is developing a statewide portfolio of influence with his early support of Barbara Buono for the 2013 gubernatorial nomination, his non-stop fundraising schedule for candidates statewide and savvy media presence.  Gopal has ties to both Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Congressman Frank Pallone. How he navigates the anticipated 2014 battle between Booker and Pallone for the U.S. Senate nomination will be fascinating to watch.  MMM predicts that he will be seen as a supporter of the winner and an ally of the loser.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth Rising Stars | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Monmouth GOP Unity on display in Tampa

PolitickerNJ.com anticipated an injured ego storyline in the aftermath of (John) Bennett’s June victory over intra-party rival Christine Hanlon.

But it wasn’t there.

“Christine and I are friends, and she’s been so helpful,” said Bennet, whose party dominates Monmouth.

In June, (Christine) Hanlon lost a bid for the Monmouth GOP chairmanship by a narrow margin to former state Sen. John Bennett.

“John and I are friends, and I support him,” Hanlon told PolitickerNJ.com.

“Monmouth is not Bergen,” assured (Brian) Nelson.

Posted: August 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Christine Hanlon, John Bennett, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Name that lawyer/politican Poll Closed

That decorated tricep belongs to Marlboro Council President Frank LaRoccaMMM received an emotional email from Frank LaRocca this morning asking that we not make political fodder of his new tattoo.

The tattoo is a tribute to LaRocca’s recently passed law partner, Andrew Hegt, who died suddenly at the age of 35 on June 14.  Hegt was the father of five children, including newborn twins.

“My tattoo is St. Andrew’s Cross and the Scales of Justice,” said LaRocca, “it is an artistic tribute to a man I loved dearly and who died tragically.”

LaRocca has created the Hegt Memorial Fund with an initial goal of raising $100,000.  LaRocca says he’s raised $40 thousand so far. $6,506 has been raised on the fund’s website.


Posted: July 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

The Candidate’s Partners

Much of the negative campaign against Christine Hanlon for Monmouth GOP Chair has been directed not at the candidate, but at her partner, Brian Nelson.

It’s all part of the sexist undertone of the campaign…  Nelson will really be the Chair…  Christine’s his puppet.  That sentiment and gossip is truly the most offensive element of this campaign to date.    It is demeaning to Hanlon and demeaning to women in general.  It is not worthy of the Monmouth GOP; the Republican County Party that has done more to advance women in politics than any other county party in the state, Democrat or Republican.

But if we are going to scrutinise Christine Hanlon’s partnership, should we not also scrutinise John Bennett’s?    Should we look into how much money his partner Frank Tedesco gave to Democrats?   Should we look into how much of the money that Tedesco and Bennett gave to Democrats was wheeled into the Monmouth Democrats?

I have the data.  It is not pretty.   It is relevant, but I doubt it will change many votes at this point.

John’s donations to Democrats are relevant. Christine addressed that issue in her mailing this weekend.

But  I don’t think Tedesco’s donations to Carl Lewis, Donald Norcross or Lou Greenwald  and others are really relevant to John’s candidacy.  Not anymore than what people think about Brian Nelson, pro or con, is to Christine’s candidacy.

Posted: June 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Christine Hanlon, John Bennett, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , | 15 Comments »

Who is Christine Hanlon? The Monmouth County GOP Chair’s Race, Part 4

By Art Gallagher

Who is this woman who, only six years ago was not involved in politics and now has State Legislators and county elected officials feverishly working the phones to make sure she is elected Monmouth County GOP Chair on Tuesday evening at Colts Neck High School?

Late last week as I was finishing up my preparation for this series, I called two of the elected officials who had endorsed John Bennett for Chair.   I trust these people’s judgment and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something.

“Tell me why John Bennett will be a better Chair than Christine Hanlon,” I asked both Republicans.  Neither had an answer.  Both said they liked Christine and that she would be a good Chairwoman.  They both spoke of their friendship with Bennett and the support he gave them early in their careers as the reason for endorsements.  Neither disagreed with my concerns about Bennett’s baggage.   

One of them called me back over the weekend and asked, “Why do you think Christine will be a better Chair than John?”  “Bennett is too much of a risk.  Fair or not, he will become a campaign issue and a distraction.   No one works harder than Christine and she’s motivated by something other than personal gain,”  was my reply.  “How can you say that about someone who has only been involved for a few years?” the person quickly asked.  “Because I’ve taken the time to get to know her, just like I took the time  to get to know you when you were running.”  “Oh, I was just asking.”  “That’s OK, I was just answering.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Christine Hanlon, John Bennett, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

MMM Year in Review – February

Governor Chris Christie signed legislation to designed to revitalize Atlantic City.   The Oceanport Task Force on Monmouth Park stepped up its efforts to save New Jersey’s horse racing industry.

Live Action Video released a tape of a Perth Amboy Planned Parenthood office manager coaching an actor posing as a pimp how to “beat the system” set up to protect underage sex trafficking victims.  Media Matters for America, a liberal media watchdog, called the video a hoax and defended Planned Parenthood for alerting the FBI about a potential multistate sex trafficking ring.  Amy Woodruff, the Planned Parenthood office manager, was firedFrank Pallone was silent on the matter.  The Asbury Park Press issued an inaccurate editorial defending Planned Parenthood.

The U.S. Census Bureau released the results of the 2010 census.  New Jersey lost a congressional district.  Hispanics became the state’s largest minority group. New Jersey’s population shifted from the north to the southern and central regions of the state.

New Jersey’s newpaper industry appealed to Trenton Democrats to maintain their corporate welfare in the form of “legal advertising.”

Congressman Christopher Lee, (R-Buffalo, NY) resigned three hours after gawker.com published shirtless photos of him that he had sent to a woman seeking a date via craigslist.

By-laws, and the lack thereof, for the Monmouth GOP became a hot topic for a week or two.

Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich likened Congressman Chris Smith and American Catholics opposed to abortion to the Arizona shooter.

Freeholder Deputy Director John Curley called for a public review of Brookdale Community College’s budget and spending after learning of expensive country club memberships and a housing allowance for college President Dr. Peter Burnham.  Burnham had drafted a budget that called for a 8.2% tuition increase and blamed the need for the increase on the Freeholder Board reducing the county subsidy for the college.

Red Bank Councilman Michael Dupont and Shrewsbury attorney Brian Nelson  fought over the Sayreville Borough Attorney’s job.

The Republican Association of Princeton was reconstituted as The Lincoln Club of New Jersey under the leadership of Scott Sipprelle.

Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, Wall Committeeman George Newberry and Spring Lake Councilman Gary Rich launched their campaigns for the GOP nomination for Freeholder.

Posted: December 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2011 Year in review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Nelson Appointed To NJEDA

Governor Chris Christie has appointed Brian M. Nelson, Esq. to the Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Nelson is the Managing Partner of Nelson, Supko & Hanlon, LLC, Shrewsbury.  He is the municipal attorney for Middletown and Tinton Falls.

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Nelson Appointed To NJEDA

Is Dupont Sayreville’s Borough Attorney Or Isn’t He?

By Art Gallagher

Red Bank Councilman and NJ Turnpike Authority Treasurer Michael Dupont told Red Bank Green that he is still the Borough Attorney in Sayreville and that he’s humbled that he got the appointment.

Sayreville Mayor Kennedy O’Brien saysthat Brian Nelson is the Borough Attorney for the duration of the temporary 30 day appointment that O’Brien made on February 14th.  The Sayreville mayor intends to appoint Nelson for the remainder of the year.

O’Brien also said that the reported savings of $115 thousand that Sayreville taxpayers would enjoy due to DuPont’s appointment at $7500 per month, compared to the prior attorney’s $19,000 per month fee is exaggerated because DuPont’s fee does not include the costs of litigation.  Nelson’s bid of $12,500 per month does include litigation.

O’Brien said that DuPont was ineligible to be appointed because his pay to pay paperwork was not submitted on time.  DuPont told RedBankGreen that his paper work was fine and that he personally reviewed it.

MMM has calls into DuPont and Nelson.  More to follow as we pull of the threads of this tangled web.

Posted: February 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Sayreville | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »