Maggie Moran, Democrat freeholder candidate Matt Doherty’s wife and former Governor Corzine’s Deputy Chief of Staff and campaign manager, wants the Monmouth GOP to stop telling Monmouth County voters that she and Matthew profited from the suffering of Jersey Shore residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Moran’s lawyer, Angelo Genova of the Newark law firm Genova Burns, LLC, sent a Cease and Desist Letter to the Monmouth County Republican Committee yesterday claiming that a mailer and TV commercial the GOP shared with Monmouth County voters this week is factually inaccurate and defames Moran. Genova also sent the letter to the Common Sense for Belmar blog, who published the mailer.
Genova must think that Shaun Golden, Chairman and Tom Szymanski, Executive Director of the Monmouth GOP, as well as Dave Schneck, publisher of Common Sense for Belmar, don’t read MoreMonmouthMusings.
As in the similar letter Genova wrote to MMM in September, Moran is insisting that she never worked for (emphasis added) Ashbritt, Inc., the Florida based disaster clean up company that Belmar hired at about the time Moran started selling their services to Jersey Shore towns.
Coincidentally Belmar fired a local contractor who had been previously awarded the work. Doherty said that the firing of the local contractor had nothing to do with Ashbritt. He also said he would arrange helicopter landings in Belmar parks for anyone, not just wealthy donors to his freeholder campaign.
Genova argues that because Moran says she was never an Ashbritt Inc. employee and was never remunerated by Ashbritt Inc. that she never worked for Ashbritt. But, as MMM wrote in our public response to Genova’s letter to us in September, that doesn’t mean she did not work on behalf of or with Ashbritt. The graphic to the right, which was sent to MMM publisher Art Gallagher by Monmouth Democrat Chairman Vin Gopal on Moran’s behalf during the weeks after Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore, clearly demonstrates that Moran was working with or on behalf of Ashbritt. It makes little difference if her checks came from Ashbritt’s subcontractor, The Conti Group, an Ashbritt subsidiary or another entity who was paid by Ashbritt.
Genova’s letter to the Monmouth GOP is factually inaccurate. Genova says that the mailer and TV commercial state that Moran worked for Ashbritt. However, both the mailer and the TV commercial state that she worked with the company to whom Belmar awarded the no-bid contract. Ashbritt was not mentioned by name in either ad. Genova wrote that the contract wasn’t no-bid. It was.
It is not clear from either of Genova’s letters why Moran thinks pointing out her association with Ashbritt is defamatory. It is obviously damaging to her husband’s political ambitions.
Unless Moran actually sues MMM, the Monmouth GOP or Common Sense for Belmar, we’ll probably never know how much money she and Doherty made on the suffering of New Jersey residents as a result of Sandy. If she does sue us, we would find that out during discovery.
But we do know that Matt and Maggie have done extremely well since Doherty became mayor. They used to own a modest Third Ave home that they bought for less than $400K. Last Spring, they bought a home on the inlet for $1.425 million with a $1,068,750 mortgage.
The house is assessed for property tax purposes for almost $400k less than they paid for it. No wonder Doherty put off Belmar’s property tax revaluation until the NJ Attorney General forced his hand.