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“Discharge Of His Duties”? More Like “Discard” Of His Duties!

There’s a story over at More Monmouth Musings about a proposal by Assemblywoman Amy Handlin to increase the maximum penalty for officials that violate the Local Government Ethics Law from $500 to $10,000.  I’ve never been a big fan of “ethics” laws.  Putting more and more power and money into the hands of politicians and then writing ethics laws to try to keep them honest is not the answer.  The answer is to only let the government do the things for us that would be impractical for us to do for ourselves via the free market.  At the local level this would include things like police protection, snow removal, and yes, disaster clean-up.

Handlin is acting in response to outrage over some corrupt land deal in Chesterfield Township, but, because she’s from our area, when I first saw the headline of the story I thought she might have been talking about our situation here in Belmar.  I took a look at the ethics law and found something I thought was rather interesting:

40A:9-22.5 Provisions requiring compliance by local government officers, employees

a. No local government officer or employee or member of his immediate family shall have an interest in a business organization or engage in any business, transaction, or professional activity, which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest


Moran’s involvement with AshBritt was clearly in conflict with the proper discharge of Doherty’s duties as mayor.  So much so that Doherty has to claim that he had nothing to do at all with cleaning up after the storm.  Very few people really believe him, and there’s evidence that contradicts his assertion, but even if it’s true then there’s no question that Moran’s activities prevented Doherty from being able to act in his full capacity as our mayor.  Every other mayor in the area was at the center of his or her town’s clean up efforts.

But this is what our mayor is telling us:

Days after the storm my wife took a contract to help promote a hurricane clean-up company called AshBritt so I can’t really have anything to do with the clean up but don’t worry because my old friend and borough administrator Bill Young is a fantastic guy and he will take care of everything and…..oops… well, Bill Young sorta quit to get a better job but I have another old friend, Colleen Connolly, who’s a really fantastic gal and she’s our new borough administrator and she’ll take care of everything.  And because Young and Connolly are so smart they realized that AshBritt was the best company to use and AshBritt did the most wonderful job even if it was three or four times more than what some other mayors paid.  And I knew I would take heat for all this but that’s called leadership.

And Matt thinks that it’s not his behavior but rather the people that are complaining about it that are the problem.

One Comment

  1. Tom Burke wrote:

    I just got a complete copy of the law covering these things>NJ 40A:9-22.1 . I can provide a copy to the administrator if they so choose.

    Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

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