The controversial award by the Republican Freeholders of $1.2 million to Manalapan Republican Mayor Andrew Lucas has been much publicized and heavily criticized. And a judge very recently ruled that a lawsuit to undo the award may go forward over Freeholder objections. The lawsuit is over an alleged conflict of interest by Republican Freeholder Burry. While the award approval was pending, Lucas hosted a fundraiser for Burry and Burry thereafter voted to approve the award.
At a recent Board meeting when questioned about the award by a citizen, Freeholder DiMaso (perhaps in a fit of frustration) admitted that the Freeholders “should have said no to begin with”. At that meeting Freeholder Curley defended that early vote approving the award by saying that the Freeholders didn’t have all the information in the beginning.
But that still begs the question of DiMaso’s final vote to approve the award. At a subsequent Freeholder meeting I ask DiMaso “If, at the end, you had all the information to know that it was wrong to approve it to begin with, why Freeholder DiMaso, did you vote to approve it at the end?”
Freeholder DiMaso remained silent and refused to answer the question. I believe that she owes the answer to that question to the citizens and voters of Monmouth County.
This Freeholder Board,
despite many proclamations of transparency, has a history of secrecy about important
items. They refused to divulge the illegal donations that they had received
from Birdsall, they refused to have Lucas divulge the price of the land he
bought in exchange for the award, etc. A Freeholder who is afraid to disclose
the reasons for her/his actions and votes is not worthy of public support.
Brian Froelich, Candidate For Freeholder