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Judge Lawson: Freeholder Lillian Burry had no conflict of interest regarding Lucas farm vote

Judge Lawrence M. Lawson

Judge Lawrence M. Lawson

Monmouth County Assignment Judge Lawrence M. Lawson has ruled that “no rational fact-finder could find a conflict of interest” in Freeholder Lillian Burry’s March 2013 vote to fund the purchase of the development rights to former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas’s Burke Farm.

In an opinion dated January 8, Lawson said that Burry did not have a conflict of interest, “real or apparent,” “potential” or “actual” in the controversial farmland preservation purchase that has been a political football in Monmouth County and Manalapan since 2010.

In a Summary Judgment, Lawson dismissed the suit with prejudice, brought by Holmdel attorney Lawrence Luttrell, a Democratic freeholder candidate at the time that he, his wife and mother-in-law formed R.A.G.E (Residents Against Government Exploitation), a non-profit corporation, for the sole purpose of bringing suit against Monmouth County over Burry’s vote on the Lucas farm deal.

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Posted: January 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Andrew Lucas Resigns From Manalapan Township Committee

andrew lucasAndrew Lucas resigned his position on the Manalapan Committee today.  His term was due to expire at the end of this year.  He was not seeking reelection.

His two line resignation letter simply said he was resigning effective immediately and appreciated the opportunity to serve.

Mayor Susan Cohen and Committeeman Ryan Green both said they had no idea why Lucas resigned.  Lucas has not returned a call for comment.

Once a rising star in the Monmouth GOP, Lucas was a nominee for Freeholder in 2006, losing to Barbara McMarrow of Freehold Township, then a Democrat. McMarrow has since become a Republican and is a member of the Freehold Township Committee.

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Posted: October 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Manalapan, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Democratic Freeholder Candidate Sues Monmouth County Over Lucas Farm Deal

Lawrence Luttrell, a Holmdel attorney, has filed suit against Monmouth County on behalf of a new non-profit corporation, Residents Against Government Exploitation (RAGE), over the government purchase of the development rights to Manalapan Township Committee Member Andrew Lucas’ farm for $1.152 million.

The plaintiff non-profit could be called LAGE, Luttrells Against Government Exploitation.  The trustees of the entity are Luttrell, his wife and his mother.

Luttrell is a Democratic candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder.

The all Republican Monmouth County Board of Freeholders passed a resolution by a 3-2 vote on February 28 to join the Township of Manalapan and the State of New Jersey in purchasing the development rights to the Lucas property for farmland preservation.  The county contributed $277,920, Manalapan paid $186,969 and the State picked up $687,111 of the purchase.  Freeholders Lillian Burry, Gary Rich and Serena DiMaso voted in favor of funding the purchase.  John Curley and Freeholder Director Tom Arnone voted no.

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Posted: June 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Democratic Freeholder Candidates Slam Lucas Farm Deal

The Democratic candidates for Monmouth County Freeholder are not waiting to get into campaign mode.

Brian Froelich and Lawrence Luttrell were endorsed by the Monmouth County Democratic Party last Saturday.  Today they issued a statement blasting the “all-Republican monopoly on the Freeholder Board” over the 3-2 split decision to pay Manalapan Township Committeeman Andrew Lucas $1.152 million for the development rights to his farm.

Froelich and Luttrell also promoted Lucas to a “GOP boss.”

MANALAPAN – Democratic Candidates for Monmouth County Freeholder, Brian Froelich  and Larry Luttrell, slammed the Republican Freeholder  Board’s decision to give almost 1.2 million taxpayer dollars away to a  local GOP party boss.

 

“Once again, the all-Republican monopoly on the Freeholder Board has  exercised its power against the interests of Monmouth County residents,” said Froelich. “This time, the Freeholders granted a $1.15  million-dollar payday to one of their own in the guise of ‘farmland  preservation.’ Whether it is preservation bonuses, pension privileges,  or old-fashioned patronage, this Board continues to remind us that  absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

 

“Clearly, there is an apparent conflict of interest with this land deal,” added  Luttrell, a former prosecutor. “This November, Monmouth County residents will have a chance to elect fair-minded watchdogs that will restrain  this biased and unbalanced Freeholder Board. Shame on Freeholder Serena  DiMaso for voting to give taxpayer money away to one of her political  cronies. This needs to change in November.”
General election for Monmouth County Freeholder takes place Tuesday, November 5th.

Froelich and Luttrell are attempting to unseat Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso.  Arnone voted against funding the Lucas farm purchase. DiMaso voted for it.

Posted: March 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Monmouth Dems still looking to fill their dance card

Their nominating convention is on Saturday, but the Monmouth County Democrats are still searching for candidates to run for the legislature and sheriff.  Today’s “soft deadline” for candidates to come forward could be extended beyond the convention.  Chairman Vin Gopal’s quest to be the first county party to officially annoint Senator Barbara Buono with the gubernatorial nomination will end up being a self-inflicted wound if he doesn’t have a full slate to announce on Saturday afternoon.

With the official deadline for candidates to file their petitions not until April 1 and with Buono the only serious candidate for governor (there are two other announced candidates, former Glen Ridge Governor Carl Bergmanson and union carpenter Willie Araujo of Edison), Gopal’s decision to hold his convention a month earlier than normal looks silly.

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Posted: February 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2011 Year in review, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »