TRENTON — A Senate committee Thursday voted 5-0 to dissolve local and county ethics boards and turn the responsibility of investigating the questionable behavior of any government official to the State Ethic Commission. The bill scraps local ethics boards that are “a hoge-podge” in many communities because they are not active or do not exist, said… Read the rest of this entry »Posted: January 29th, 2016 | Author: admin | Filed under: New Jersey, News | Tags: Marlboro Ethics Board, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, NJ Legislature, State Ethics Commission | Comments Off on Should the state investigate questionable behavior by local government officials?
Democratic Mayors Pan Their Freeholder Candidates’ Call For A County Ethics Board
By Art Gallagher
The Monmouth County Democrats have finally put forth a proposal to improve County Government.
It is not a new idea. It is not even a good idea. But at least they have put forth an idea for debate instead of spreading the lies and baseless character assassinations that have comprised their campaign so far this year.
Their campaign had been wholly negative; primarily baseless character attacks on Freeholder Director Lillian Burry. They lied and said Burry hired an unqualified campaign worker for a mental health position. Even after their lawsuit alleging that Burry had a conflict of interest over the Andrew Lucas farmland preservation deal was thrown out of court, they continue to beat that drum. The GOP controlled Freeholder Board has cleaned house at Brookdale Community College since former President Peter Burnham was caught with his hands in the cookie jar. Yet the Democrats have been blaming Burry for Burnham’s transgressions.
Democratic candidate Joe Grillo told The Asbury Park Press that he wants to reinstate a County Ethics Board. I know I’m being generous by saying this is a proposal to improve County Government instead of calling it an excuse to keep talking about the baseless allegations they are making about Burry. But what the heck. MMM is fair and biased. Let’s play along and debunk the idea on its merits.Art Gallagher | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, New Jersey | Tags: Amy Handlin, Anna Little, Asbury Park, Asbury Park Press, Belmar, Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, DCA, Department of Community Affairs, Gary Rich, Joe Grillo, John Curley, Larry Luttrell, Lillian Burry, Local Finance Board, Long Branch, Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider, Marlboro, Marlboro Ethics Board, Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth Dems, Neptune Nudniks, New Jersey, Red Bank, Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna | 1 Comment »
Local Finance Board Faults Marlboro Ethics Board’s Investigation Into Councilwoman Marder’s Conflict
The New Jersey Local Finance Board (LFB), a part of the Department of Community Affairs found fault in the Marlboro Ethic Board’s (MTEB) investigation into conflict of interest charges file against Councilwoman Randi Marder. LBF remanded the matter back to MTEB for “additional investigation and application of the appropriate legal standard.”Art Gallagher | Filed under: Marlboro | Tags: Coucilwoman Randi Marder, DCA, Department of Community Affairs, Frank LaRocca, Jon Hornik, Local Finance Board, Marlboro, Marlboro Ethics Board, Marlboro Township, Thomas H Neff | Comments Off on Local Finance Board Faults Marlboro Ethics Board’s Investigation Into Councilwoman Marder’s Conflict
Marlboro GOP Chairman Christopher Dean filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Jon Hornik, Councilman Frank LaRocca and Councilwoman Randi Marder last October. To date, no action has been taken by the Marlboro Ethics Board.
The complaint involves the Township doing business with a company owned by Marder and her husband on a “no-bid” basis.
Dean was a candidate for Township Council, running against LaRocca and Marder, when the complaint was filed. He and one of his running mates, Craig Marshall who ran for Mayor against Hornik, are continuing their fight for ethical government in Marlboro, despite their loss at the polls.
Members of municipal ethics boards are appointed and approved by the Mayors and Councils of their respective communities. Of the 566 municipalities in New Jersey, only 37 have their own Ethics Boards. Of New Jersey’s 21 counties, 7 have Ethics Boards.
In a January 26 letter to the Marlboro Ethics Board, Dean asked that his complaint be referred to the State Local Fiance Board rather been heard by the local board which is comprised of personal friends of the Mayor and Council members who are subject of the inquiry.
Marshall questions the objectivity of the board’s new attorney. In a Letter to the Editor published in the Marlboro Patch, the former mayoral candidate notes that the attorney, Ken Biedzynski, earned $221,146 last year as a Marlboro special council for affordable housing, an appointment he received with the approval of the subjects of the pending ethics complaint.
All government officials should recuse themselves when faced with a conflict or the very appearance of a conflict. This is especially so for an Ethics Board and its attorney. In this case, there is enough of an appearance of conflicts or potential conflicts to warrant recusals.
Even if the Marlboro Ethics Board were to hear the case, which they could have done in the last four months, and found that there was no ethical violation, Dean and Marshall are going to appeal to the Local Fiance Board anyway.
The fact that this issue is still dragging on after four months with multiple attorneys raises questions about the impartiality of the board.
The Marlboro Ethics Board would be wise to refer the matter to the Local Finance Board when they meet on March 14. Hornick, LaRocca and Marder would be wise to publicly call for such a referral.
Let both sides make their cases to the Local Finance Board and put the matter in the rear view mirror. That’s going to happen eventually anyway. The delaying tactics only raise more questions.Posted: February 23rd, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Marlboro | Tags: Christopher Dean, Craig Marshall, Frank LaRocca, Jon Hornik, Local Finance Board, Marlboro, Marlboro Ethics Board, Randi Marder | Comments Off on Marlboro Republicans Want Ethics Complaint To Be Referred To Local Finance Board
The ethics complaint filed last October by former Marlboro council candidate Christopher Dean will not get a hearing until next month at the earliest, according to a report in the NewsTranscript.
Dean, who is also the GOP municipal chairman in Marlboro, filed a complaint with the Township’s Ethic Board a week before the election because the Mayor and Council approved no-bid purchases of promotional items from Inkwell Global Marketing. Inwell is owned by Councilwoman Randi Marder’s husband. Marder, who works at the company, voted to approve the purchases, according to Dean’s complaint.
At the February 8 meeting of the Ethic Board, Dean said his complaint included Mayor Jon Hornick and Council Frank LaRocca. Board Chairman Michael Cali said Dean should file new complaints against Hornick and LaRocca.
LaRocca is a candidate for Monmouth County Democratic Chairman.
The board has not yet held a hearing on the complaint because they are unsure if they should do so in public or in executive session, out of concern for Marder’s privacy. Their new attorney, Kenneth Biedzynski, said he would advise the board on the proper venue for a hearing at the March meeting.
Dean requested that the board refer the complaint to the Local Finance Board.Posted: February 16th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Marlboro, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: "LaHornicca", Christopher Dean, Frank LaRocca, Jon Horncik, Marlboro, Marlboro Ethics Board, Monmouth County Democrats, NewsTranscript, Randi Marder | 7 Comments »