This is why the Monmouth County Republican Freeholders wouldn’t tell us if they received any money from Birdsall- because they did!
It was reported today that all of the current Ocean and Monmouth (Republican) county Freeholders received money from the indicted Birdsall organization. The records show that Monmouth politicians got over $66 thousand dollars and Birdsall received over $4 million in contracts.
In Birdsall’s home of Monmouth County the Freeholders (Arnone, DiMaso, Burry, Curley, and Rich) received $18,200 from 2008 to early 2012. In addition Sheriff Shaun Golden, Clerk Claire French, and various Monmouth Republican organizations received Birdsall funds. Arnone and DiMaso also received donations when serving as municipal officials.
Sources said that donors understood the message to be ‘if you want to work, you better pay up’. And a Birdsall executive admitted that these illegal donations were given to "curry favor" with officials and "gain a competitive advantage" and that they "regularly won contracts" for the company. One article on the subject said that “(s)ecret donations flowed every year like free wine from Birdsall.”
For example “(i)n November 2011, at a fundraiser hosted by Birdsall, the company wrote Monmouth County Freeholders Gary Rich Sr. and Lillian Burry corporate checks for $300 each, then gave Burry another $1,200 and Rich $900 in secret checks.”
And while critics and campaign experts have said that the Birdsall money should be given back, some politicians are responding that the money has already been spent.
Interestingly, Birdsall also gave substantial donations to Manalapan Committeeman and former Mayor Andrew Lucas who was involved in a recent controversy along with the Freeholders. The Freeholders awarded Lucas over $1 million for some land preservation rights. That transaction was widely and highly criticized.
In November the voters’ broom will sweep clean the Freeholder/Birdsall mess.