A registered sex offender and his spouse recorded video of Little Silver Republican Chairman Stuart Van Winkle asking them if they had granted Rick Brandt permission to put campaign signs at their business. They then spun the encounter as illegal harassment and posted the video on YouTube. Brandt linked to the video in a lengthy press release on Thursday in which he depicts himself as a victim of “the dark underbelly” of Little Silver politics.
RedBankGreen depicted Will and Ingrid Garcia as “mom and pop” owners of a detail shop located at the overpriced Shell gas station across the street from the Little Silver train station. A brief MMM investigation revealed that Will Garcia is a registered Tier 2 sex offender listed in both the New Jersey and Florida law enforcement databases. He was convicted of sexual contact with two juvenile females.
Will Garcia might be in violation of his Megan’s Law probationary status which requires that he inform law enforcement of his residential address. The NJ State Police Sex Offender Registry reports a Park Avenue, Oakhurst address for Garcia. Red Bank Green reported the couple lives in Long Branch. A public records search of Ingrid reveals a Long Branch Ave, Long Branch address.
The couple was not present at Expert Detail and Auto Repair and the doors were locked when MMM visited late Friday morning.
Neither William or Ingrid Garcia are registered to vote in Monmouth County.
Van Winkle told MMM that he has heard numerous complaints from residents that Brandt’s signs appeared on their property without permission. One of those residents is a Superior Court Judge who is prohibited from engaging in political activity.
Another resident filed a criminal mischief complaint against Brandt for campaign related activity, according to police records obtained by MMM via an Open Public Records Request.
Brandt, in his press release, alleges that over 200 of his campaign signs have been stolen of vandalized in just a few weeks. As of May 22, the date MMM received the police records requested, there were no reports of stolen or vandalized campaign signs.
Brandt has been banned from the Little Silver School District’s properties while children are present. Since 2015, his access to the Red Bank Regional High School property has been severely restricted, under a threat of prosecution. He has been suspended from the Little Silver Fire Department and survived an expulsion motion by one vote. He has been removed from his positions on the Shade Tree Commission and the Recreation Committee. He says he is the victim of cruelty, fake news and vicious social media attacks.
The Republican primary is on Tuesday, June 4th. Brandt is challenging incumbent Mayor Bob Neff. Council Members Don Galante and Corinne Thygeson are running with Neff and are unopposed.
The Little Silver Democrats have no candidates running in their primary. Barring an Independent candidate filing to run by the deadline on Tuesday, the winner of the Republican race for mayor will likely be unopposed in the general election on November 5.