Former Belmar Councilman Jim Bean filed an Ethics Complaint with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Local Finance Board against Mayor “Lawless Matt” Doherty on Friday, August 19, alleging that Doherty did not have the authorization of the Borough Council to grant a campaign donor permission to land a helicopter in the Borough or on Borough property. Additionally, Bean alleges that Doherty did not provide public notice nor notify Monmouth County officials of the temporary landing permit, as is required by the Department of Transportation when applying for said permit.
A copy of the Ethics Complaint can be found here.
Bean said that Dirty Doherty used “public resources to allow a campaign donor special privilege to land a helicopter in Belmar’s small but very populated Green Acres Silver Lake Park.”
“This is corruption in its simplest form.” stated Bean. “Mayor Doherty used a significant amount of town resources including police officers, the town administrator Colleen Connelly, and potentially other Borough employees during business hours to coordinate this event. All salaried time was paid by the Belmar taxpayers for these services, which had no benefit to the Borough. This donor\friend received an extraordinary favor in exchange for a campaign donation of $2500.00 to Mayor Doherty’s Monmouth County Freeholder campaign account as documented in election reports filed by the Mayor.”
This is the second time Bean has filed an Ethics Complaint against Doherty. In 2014, Bean filed complaint #14-037 against the mayor, alleging that during the Hurricane Sandy clean up in 2012, Doherty granted a multi-million dollar no-bid contract to a client of his wife, Maggie Moran. Moran was a sales agent for Ashbritt-Conti, a disaster clean up company. The Local Finance Board has yet to rule on the 2014 complaint.
“The Mayor will spin this complaint as partisan politics,” Bean said. ” Don’t be fooled. This complaint is regarding Mayor Doherty’s corrupt dealings. Stealing from taxpayers, either monetary, services or by way of favors is not a partisan issue. Mayor Doherty has blatant contempt for the law and believes he is granted powers to act above it with no consequences.”
Doherty, a candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder, did not respond to a request to comment.