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Northgrave Named In Ethics Dispute

As Edison Township Attorney, represented mayor pre-bono in traffic court.

William Northgrave, Belmar’s redevelopment lawyer, has a problem in Edison.


Edison Ethics Board to hear complaint against Lankey

A complaint against Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey will be heard by the township ethics board on Dec. 2 in town hall.

EDISON – For watchdog activist John Paff, it’s all about government transparency and clear rules.

For township attorney William Northgrave, it’s a matter not worthy of comment.

But Paff, chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party’s Open Government Advocacy Project, hopes a Dec. 2 hearing with the township’s ethics board involving Mayor Thomas Lankey will provide direction for all involved.

Paff filed a complaint with the township ethics board on Sept. 27 in order to clear up what he considers to be murky laws that govern situations like the one in which Northgrave represented Lankey pro bono in June related to a $100 traffic ticket to which the mayor pleaded guilty of texting while driving.

Upon entering office nearly a year ago, Lankey appointed Northgrave township attorney because he said he felt he could help settle the many lawsuits Edison faces. Lankey and Northgrave previously stated that their professional relationship predated their time as township officials. But Paff said he wants the ethics board to determine whether there was a conflict in interest regarding Northgrave representing the man responsible for his reappointment……………

…………………The hearing is scheduled to begin 7 p.m. in the Edison Room on the third floor of the municipal building.

The township administration declined to comment. Northgrave said the matter wasn’t “worthy of comment.”………………………..

According to an earlier story, Northgrave actually appeared in court for Lankey:

Ethics complaint filed over Edison mayor’s free legal help on distracted driving ticket

EDISON – A New Jersey activist has filed an ethics complaint in an effort to find out whether it was inappropriate for the mayor of Edison to get pro bono legal help for a distracted driving ticket.

Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey was ticketed for using his cellphone when he was driving in Highland Park in June. With hopes of getting the ticket reduced, he enlisted the help of William Northgrave, the township’s own attorney, who entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf and accompanied him to South Brunswick court……………

(I’m not sure why they went to court in South Brunswick for a ticket he got in Highland Park.  Maybe it’s part of some shared services agreement.)

Of course all these ethics boards everywhere are hand-picked cronies of the people they are supposed to be judging.  I think that every town should have an ethics board, but they should be picked by lottery from the general population like juries are.


  1. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    I’m glad that Northgrave didn’t describe the matter as “frivolous” ….

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 7:26 am | Permalink
  2. sideliner wrote:

    “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

    ~Albert Einstein~

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink
  3. Tom Dilberger wrote:

    “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

    ~Albert Einstein~

    I don’t know about that.

    “If stupidity got us into this mess, why can’t stupidity get us out of it?”

    -Will Rogers-

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink
  4. sideliner wrote:

    Good one, Tom. Dumb luck could work, as well.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink
  5. George wrote:

    Also hot off the press yesterday the existing mayor of Eatontown won by TWO votes!!! Boy is that a divided town!!

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

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