Maggie Moran, the only Democrat political consultant/campaign manager to lose a statewide race in New Jersey in the last twenty years and the wife of Monmouth County freeholder candidate, Belmar Mayor “Lawless Matt” Doherty, denies that she did work for AshBritt Inc. during the aftermath in Superstorm Sandy, as has been reported by MoreMonmouthMusings and many other publications.
In a letter dated September 6, 2016, Moran’s attorney, Angelo J. Genova of Genova Burns, said, “Ms. Moran was never engaged by or compensated by Ashbritt Inc. related to its work for the State of New Jersey following Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. She was not a consultant, employee or otherwise an agent of Ashbritt Inc. To be explicitly clear, neither Ms. Moran nor M Public Affairs were ever hired, engaged, compensated or paid by Ashbritt Inc.”
Genova is asserting that the MMM article posted on July 26 during the Democratic National Convention, Moran donates to Wasserman Schultz’s reelection campaign , contains an inaccurate statement that Ms. Moran “was also the NJ consultant for AshBrit (sic), the Sandy clean up company that was accused of price gauging many New Jersey towns, including Belmar, in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.”
Genova demanded that MMM retract and/or correct the statement. His letter can be read in its entirety here.
Moran and Genova are engaging in Clintonesque legal hair splitting.
Moran or her previous company, M Public Affairs, may not have been paid by AshBritt Inc., as Genova asserts. But that doesn’t mean that she did not work on their behalf. She could have been paid by Conti Group, AshBritt’s New Jersey subcontractor, or another entity owned or controlled by AshBritt or Conti.
MMM publisher Art Gallagher received these marketing materials dated November 16, 2012 from Vin Gopal on Moran’s behalf. Moran was the lead contact for AshBritt and their subcontractor, The Conti Group. She had a conticorp.com email address. The contact phone number was the number of M Public Affairs, her consulting company.
Gopal asked Gallagher to help Moran get the clean up contract for Highlands and any other Monmouth County towns he had relationships with. Highlands’ clean up was almost complete already. That work was done by local contractors led by Montecalvo Disposal Services.
If Moran volunteered for AshBritt/Conti and saved homeowners and taxpayers money in the aftermath of Sandy, Doherty should make his family’s generosity a highlight of his campaign for freeholder. We don’t think that will happen. Genova would have said so in his letter, if that was the case. Instead, he simply stated by Moran was not employed by, paid by or compensated by AshBritt Inc. That’s probably true, but we’ll never know unless the Moran-Dohertys release their tax returns or if Genova sues Gallco Media, the owner of this website, and we examine the returns during discovery.
The freeholders that Doherty is challenging in November, Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, spent countless hours volunteering in the aftermath of Sandy.
If Moran and Doherty have profited from Moran’s business relationships with Belmar vendors and contractors since Doherty has been mayor or a councilman, Doherty should be prepared to answer for that during the next 9 weeks as he asks Monmouth County voters to trust him to be a freeholder. If they haven’t profited from those relationships, they should tout their philanthropically and volunteerism as they endeavor to take over Monmouth County’s government.
Genova said that our associating Moran with the accusations of price gauging by AshBritt is defamatory. That would only be the case if she was a volunteer. If Moran demonstrates that her post-Sandy activities performed under the auspices of AshBritt’s contract with the State of New Jersey, as the marketing materials with her name states, were done as a volunteer, MMM will report that prominently.