Belmar Councilman Jim Bean Lodges Ethics Complaint Against Mayor Matt Doherty Over AshBritt Contracts
Bean cites Local Finance Board’s Decision Against Marlboro Councilwoman Randi Marder To Support His Complaint
Doherty Dismisses Complaint As Politics
Belmar Councilman Jim Bean, a Republican, has written to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Local Finance Board requesting an investigation into a “potential violation” of New Jersey’s Local Government Ethics Law by Mayor Matt Doherty, a Democrat.
Doherty’s wife, Maggie Moran, a former Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Jon Corzine, worked as a consultant for AshBritt, the Florida company that performed debris removal throughout much of New Jersey after the Superstorm Sandy. Belmar paid $2.67 million to AshBrit and its affiliates, according to Bean’s complaint which can be found here.
Doherty said that Bean is “Belmar’s Bayshore Tea Party….a cancer on the Republican Party.”
“This is the second, politically motivated, baseless complaint Bean has filed against me in the past 8 months, ” Doherty said, “If he didn’t waste his time on this nonsense maybe he could actually do something useful for the people of Belmar.”
Since Sandy, Doherty has repeatedly claimed that he recused himself from any votes regarding AshBritt and that he delegated the decision to hire AshBritt, which was not subject to a vote by the borough’s council, to the Borough Administrator, Bill Young. Young has since left his position at Belmar and works for the Port Authority of NY/NJ.
In his letter to LFB, Beam cites the board’s decision regarding Marlboro Councilwoman Randi Marder. In that case the Board said that “the spouse of an elected official doing business with the same municipality is an activity that should be avoided. Any appearance of impropriety or tacit influence on others by an elected official impugns the standards set forth in the Local Government Ethics Law.”
Doherty said that Bean has his own conflict regarding AshBritt because he works for Stavola. Stavola was an AshBritt subcontractor in the clean up of Sea Bright. “If Belmar paid too much for cleaning up after the storm, did Sea Bright also pay too much?” Doherty asked. “Sea Bright paid the same rates that Belmar did.”
Bean has not responded to a call regarding his employment or conflicts. We’ll update this post if he does.