A-Rod’s transgressions don’t make The Yankees dirty

Andrew Lucas, center, then the Republican mayor of Manalapan, with then Freeholder John D'Amico and Amy Mallet, both Democrats, in September of 2010, seven months after Lucas purchased Burke Farm.

Andrew Lucas, center, then the Republican mayor of Manalapan, with then Freeholder John D’Amico and Amy Mallet, both Democrats, in September of 2010, seven months after Lucas purchased Burke Farm.

Former future Hall of Famer Alex Rodriguez dropped his lawsuits against MLB last week and accepted his 162 game suspension for doping with performance enhancing drugs.

The suspension will cost A-Rod $25 million and very likely his induction to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

No one from the Red Sox Nation, not even a fan, has called for the Yankees to be banned from playoff contention in 2014 due to A-Rod’s transgressions. No sports writer has suggested Derek Jeter is dirty because A-Rod cheated or called for asterisks to be placed next to Mariano Rivera’s records.

Rightly so.

Too often in politics when a member of one team is accused or convicted or wrongdoing, the rivals attempt to paint the entire team as dirty.  Too often journalists hungry for content cooperate with the slander.

Thus is the case in Monmouth County were former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, a Republican, was indicted last week on charges of wire fraud, identity theft, bank fraud and providing false statements to the IRS and FBI.   A private equity manager, Lucas is accused of deploying a complex and fraudulent scheme to come up with the funds to purchase a farm in Manalapan which he then immediately tried to sell the development rights on to New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation Program.  The Farmland Preservation Program is funded by the state, county and municipal governments.

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Posted: February 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Lucas, Media, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Lucas Posts Two Properties To Cover His Bail

Andrew Lucas, center, then the Republican mayor of Manalapan, with then Freeholder John D'Amico and Amy Mallet, both Democrats, in September of 2010, seven months after Lucas purchased Burke Farm.

Andrew Lucas, center, then the Republican mayor of Manalapan, with then Freeholder John D’Amico and Amy Mallet, both Democrats, in September of 2010, seven months after Lucas purchased Burke Farm.

Former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas put up liens on two properties this afternoon to cover the $500,000 bond which was a condition of his release from federal custody. Lucas was arrested Friday on 11 federal charges last week, including wire fraud, identity theft and providing false information to the IRS and FBI.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas Arpert gave Lucas the weekend to come up with $500,000 in assets to secure is release.

The properties are Lucas’s home at 24 Iron Ore Road, Manalapan and 351 Asbury Road in Howell.  The Howell property is own by Timothy Murphy, according to APP.com’s Data Universe.

In addition to the $500,000 bail, Lucas is subject to home confinement and electronic monitoring. He surrendered his weapons and firearms ID card.  He is prohibited from leaving the state of New Jersey.

A copy of the federal order setting the conditions of Lucas’s release can be viewed here.

Posted: February 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Lucas, Manalapan | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Lucas released till Monday

andrew lucasFormer Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas Arpert in Trenton this afternoon in his initial appearance concerning the 11 count indictment for which he was arrested this morning.

Arpert released Lucas and gave him until Monday to post a $500,000 secured bond.  His bail conditions include electronic monitoring, turning over any weapons and his travel is restricted to New Jersey, according to U. S. Attorney’s spokesperson Matthew Reilly.

No plea was entered, which Reilly said is standard for an intial appearance in federal court.

Read the charges against Lucas here.

Posted: February 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Lucas | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Andrew Lucas Arrested

andrew lucasFormer Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas was arrested this morning by federal authorities, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Lucas has been indicted on 11 counts including wire fraud, loan application fraud, illegal monetary transaction, false statements to the IRS,  aggravated identity theft, obstruction of a grand jury investigation and falsification of records in a federal investigation.

The charges are for alleged actions in connection with Lucas’s purchase of Burke Farm. No charges were made in connection of the sale of the development rights to the farm to the government’s Open Space Program, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Lucas is being represented by Mario F. Gallucci of Helbock, Nappa and Gulluci, a Staten Island, NY law firm.

The U. S. Attorney’s statement says:

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Posted: February 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Andrew Lucas, Manalapan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments »

Andrew Lucas Resigns From Manalapan Township Committee

andrew lucasAndrew Lucas resigned his position on the Manalapan Committee today.  His term was due to expire at the end of this year.  He was not seeking reelection.

His two line resignation letter simply said he was resigning effective immediately and appreciated the opportunity to serve.

Mayor Susan Cohen and Committeeman Ryan Green both said they had no idea why Lucas resigned.  Lucas has not returned a call for comment.

Once a rising star in the Monmouth GOP, Lucas was a nominee for Freeholder in 2006, losing to Barbara McMarrow of Freehold Township, then a Democrat. McMarrow has since become a Republican and is a member of the Freehold Township Committee.

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Posted: October 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Manalapan, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Democratic Freeholder Candidate Sues Monmouth County Over Lucas Farm Deal

Lawrence Luttrell, a Holmdel attorney, has filed suit against Monmouth County on behalf of a new non-profit corporation, Residents Against Government Exploitation (RAGE), over the government purchase of the development rights to Manalapan Township Committee Member Andrew Lucas’ farm for $1.152 million.

The plaintiff non-profit could be called LAGE, Luttrells Against Government Exploitation.  The trustees of the entity are Luttrell, his wife and his mother.

Luttrell is a Democratic candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder.

The all Republican Monmouth County Board of Freeholders passed a resolution by a 3-2 vote on February 28 to join the Township of Manalapan and the State of New Jersey in purchasing the development rights to the Lucas property for farmland preservation.  The county contributed $277,920, Manalapan paid $186,969 and the State picked up $687,111 of the purchase.  Freeholders Lillian Burry, Gary Rich and Serena DiMaso voted in favor of funding the purchase.  John Curley and Freeholder Director Tom Arnone voted no.

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Posted: June 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Freeholders Introduce Budget With $6.3 Million Spending Decrease

The Monmouth County Freeholders did more than fight over Andrew Lucas’ farm last week before voting to approve their portion of the $1.152 million purchase of his development rights.

By a unanimous 5-0 vote the all Republican board introduced a 2013 budget that reduces county spending by $6.3 million.  The amount to be raised by property taxes will remain at the 2010 level.  Spending is budgeted to be below 2008 levels.

“We continue to face the pressures of increased fixed costs and reduced revenues, but were able to reduce the total budget below 2008 levels and maintain a zero increase to the tax levy,” Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said. “As has been the case for the past several years, county departments were asked to cut their budget allocation proportionately to help this board reduce the impact on the taxpayers.”

The budget appropriates $481 million in spending. $302,475,000 will be raised from property taxes.  The remaining $178.525 million comes from federal and state funds, shared services agreements, and fees.

Freeholder Gary Rich noted that the county has reduced its workforce by 15% since 2008.

While the freeholders introduced a budget that reduces spending and keeps the tax levy flat, they also passed a resolution that allows them to increase the tax levy by 3.5%.

The county budget is tentatively scheduled for adoption at 7 p.m. March 28, following a public hearing. The freeholders will make a PowerPoint presentation on the budget March 5 at the Monmouth County Eastern Branch Library, Route 35, Shrewsbury and at 7 p.m. March 19 at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters on Symmes Drive, Manalapan. The public is invited to attend and offer comments.

Posted: March 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Budget, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Democratic Freeholder Candidates Slam Lucas Farm Deal

The Democratic candidates for Monmouth County Freeholder are not waiting to get into campaign mode.

Brian Froelich and Lawrence Luttrell were endorsed by the Monmouth County Democratic Party last Saturday.  Today they issued a statement blasting the “all-Republican monopoly on the Freeholder Board” over the 3-2 split decision to pay Manalapan Township Committeeman Andrew Lucas $1.152 million for the development rights to his farm.

Froelich and Luttrell also promoted Lucas to a “GOP boss.”

MANALAPAN – Democratic Candidates for Monmouth County Freeholder, Brian Froelich  and Larry Luttrell, slammed the Republican Freeholder  Board’s decision to give almost 1.2 million taxpayer dollars away to a  local GOP party boss.


“Once again, the all-Republican monopoly on the Freeholder Board has  exercised its power against the interests of Monmouth County residents,” said Froelich. “This time, the Freeholders granted a $1.15  million-dollar payday to one of their own in the guise of ‘farmland  preservation.’ Whether it is preservation bonuses, pension privileges,  or old-fashioned patronage, this Board continues to remind us that  absolute power corrupts absolutely.”


“Clearly, there is an apparent conflict of interest with this land deal,” added  Luttrell, a former prosecutor. “This November, Monmouth County residents will have a chance to elect fair-minded watchdogs that will restrain  this biased and unbalanced Freeholder Board. Shame on Freeholder Serena  DiMaso for voting to give taxpayer money away to one of her political  cronies. This needs to change in November.”
General election for Monmouth County Freeholder takes place Tuesday, November 5th.

Froelich and Luttrell are attempting to unseat Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso.  Arnone voted against funding the Lucas farm purchase. DiMaso voted for it.

Posted: March 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Lucas Farm Purchase Stalled in Manalapan

Manalapan Township Committeeman Andrew Lucas’ $1.152 million sale of the development rights to a farm in owns in the Township was not approved by his colleagues on the committee this evening.  The motion to approve the Township’s $187,000 contribution to the the purchased failed on a 2-2 vote.

Committeeman Ryan Green first moved to table the purchase due to incomplete documentation.  Committeeman Jordan Maskowitz voted with Green to table the purchase.   Mayor Susan Cohen and Committeeman Donald Holland voted against tabling.   Cohen and Holland then voted to approve the purchase. Green and Maskowitz voted no.  Lucas the fifth member of the committee recused himself from voting on the purchase of his own property.

Green told MMM that Lucas left the dais when the matter came up and left the building.  Lucas did not return for the remainder of the Township Committee meeting.

Green said he has not decided how he would vote when and if the documentation for the sale is completed.

Monmouth County’s portion of the purchase is on the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting of the Board of Chosen Freeholders.  The Freeholders will not proceed without Manalapan’s portion of the purchase being approved, according to Freeholder Director Tom Arnone.

Lucas, Manalapan’s former mayor and a former GOP candidate for freeholder, purchased the farm which had been slated for development in March of 2010 for an undisclosed amount. Soon thereafter he started the process of selling the development rights, for $1.152 million, through funding through the State, County and Township. Lucas participated on Township Committee discussions of his application.

The purchase approved by the Freeholder Board in May of 2011 was held up by an ethics complaint filed by former Manalapan Mayor George Spodak.  The State Agriculture Development Committee conditioned its funding on an satisfactory ethics review of the transaction.  Local Finance Board Chairman Thomas Neff wrote Lucas in September of last year to inform him that his application had been approved because he consulted with the Manalapan Township Attorney about his application.  Neff’s letter also said that the Board would use Lucas’s case to provide clear guidance to future office holders to recuse themselves from applications that they have an interest in.

Arnone and Freeholder John Curley have announced that they oppose the purchase of the Lucas farm.  Freeholder Lillian Burry supports the purchase. Deputy Director Serena DiMaso and Freeholder Gary Rich have not announced how they would vote on the purchase should it make it out of Manalapan.

Posted: February 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Manalapan, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »