Golden Cites NJ Court Case Affirming Sheriffs’ Right To Hold Party Office In Rebuke Of McEnery and Graziano
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden issued a strong rebuke to Manalpan GOP Chairman Steve McEnery and Freehold Township Republican Chairman Anthony Graziano for violating President Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment with a false and malicious smear that he characterized as “a clear act of desperation.”
Responding to a letter McEnery and Graziano released to MMM this morning in which the chairmen raised ethical questions about the prospect of Golden serving as Sheriff and Monmouth Republican Chairman simultaniously, Golden cited the 1978 Appellate Division decision in Lanzo v.DeMarino wherein the Court ruled that there is no conflict in the duties of a County Sheriff and a municipal chairman in a letter to both men. Golden’s letter can be found here.
Golden called upon his opponent in the Chairman’s race, incumbent John O. Bennett III, to implore his supporters, “as I have mine, to keep it positive and publicly disavow this personal negative and incorrect attack.”
I am greatly disappointed in the letter you made public this morning questioning my personal integrity, in a clear act of desperation to malign my reputation in gross violation of Ronald Reagan’s 11th Amendment. Friends and supporters have suggested that I respond in kind by attacking my opponent, but I will not stoop to the same level you have. Instead, I will directly address your false and malicious personal attack.
Had you consulted me or a reputable attorney prior to sending your ill advised missive, you would know that our State’s courts have directly addressed the issue of County Sheriffs serving in political party offices, a right which is also protect by the United States Constitution that I am sworn to uphold and take very seriously. See Lanza v. DeMarino, 160 NJ Super. 71 (App. Div. 1978).
Based on this and other legal precedents, it is widely known that there is no conflict created by elected officials, including sheriffs, holding the position of county chairman, as evidenced, for example, by the service of outstanding Republican elected officials such as Senator Sam Thompson, Senator Kevin O’Toole, and Assemblyman Scott Rumana.
My opponent pledged to run a positive campaign for chairman. Accordingly, I hope that he will call upon his supporters, as I have with mine, to keep it positive and publicly disavow this personal negative and incorrect attack.
I look forward to continuing my positive message about building a bright future for our party and I will continue to be there to support all Monmouth Republicans, as I have done for many years.
MMM will attempt to reach McEnery, Graziano and Bennett for comment on Saturday morning.