Today, sources within the Ocean County GOP stated that the Toms River School Board member Ashley Lamb and her husband Justin were the targets of a spying operation that originated at the highest levels of the former power structure within the Ocean County Republican Party.
Emails obtained in the past week indicated that Toms River Council President Kevin Geoghegan granted the go-ahead for a voyeuristic eavesdropping operation costing $8,000 to target Lamb and her husband, who also serves on the Toms River Township Council.
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That mission was given the go-ahead by the former chairman of the Republican Party in Ocean County, Frank Holman, and now sources have disclosed that Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill was also involved in the plans to employ a private investigator to spy on the couple during the spring of this year.
McGuckin gave his approval for the expenditure of $8,000 in funds belonging to the Ocean County GOP to be paid to Toms River attorney Kevin Riordan under the guise that the money was being paid for legal services.
This was done to conceal the true purpose of the funds, which was to be used to conduct surveillance on a member of the school board and a sitting councilperson.
“I am not shocked that my political opponents, led by Assemblyman Greg McGuckin, would attempt to cover up the situation. Since I’ve been in Toms River, I’ve been pointing out instances of corruption like this for years,” said Justin Lamb.
An item published in the Asbury Park Press claims that Geohegan gave his approval for the money swap that took place between the Republican Party and Riordan and that it was to be given to a private investigator in Monmouth County.
In an email sent to Riordan on April 18 from McGuckin, the assemblyman wrote the following to Riordan: “Kevin: As per our discussions, Jerry Conaty will be mailing you a check for $5500.
Attached to this email is the retainer agreement for the investigator that was initially addressed to Kevin Geoghegan.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any inquiries. Thank you very much,” was written in the online version of the Asbury Park Press.
Under Holman’s administration, Conaty served as the treasurer of the Ocean County Republican Party. At the moment, Geoghegan is acting in the role of president of the Toms River Township Council.
Last Friday, Art Gallagher, Mo’ Hill’s press secretary, admitted that both he and Hill were aware of the spying, describing it as “fair game” political vetting and opposition research. Gallagher also said that Hill was aware of the spying.
The investigation of the Lamb family was carried out, as stated by the Chairman of the Republican Party in Ocean County, George Gilmore because the previous power structure felt that Justin Lamb was contemplating running for mayor of Toms River against Hill in 2023.
Today, Lamb stated that he and his wife were the targets of McGuckin, Geohegan, and Hill because they had publicly criticized the alleged corrupt behaviour of McGuckin, Geohegan, and Hill within the Toms River Township government.
Lamb stated that he and his wife were targeted because they are calling attention to the fact that Mo Hill’s close political supporters were given many governmental posts even though Lamb and his wife are pointing this out.
“Around the same time as this P.I. report, I publicly called out Mayor Hill for conducting his administration like “Tammany Hall.” “Hill hired his campaign manager Art Gallagher for one hundred thousand dollars per year to begin working early on his re-election efforts on the cost of the taxpayers,” Lamb added.
“And then Hill granted my predecessor Maria Maruca an ivory tower appointment that pays one hundred thousand dollars annually and is confidential just a few days after she was removed from her politically appointed DMV job.
Abuse of power” is the best way to describe the administration that Mo Hill and Assemblyman McGuckin have been leading together.
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After it became public that the Internal Revenue Service had placed liens against McGuckin’s home as a result of unpaid income taxes, McGuckin, an assemblyman, decided to withdraw his final bid to run for office in Toms River. This decision was made after the news broke that the liens had been placed.
According to a story from the Asbury Park Press, Toms River Council President Greg McGuckin, who is running for mayor as a Republican candidate, “had more than $120,000 in federal tax liens filed against him.” This information comes from the Observer.
According to the news item, the tax liens have a combined sum of $121,913.87 and are for individual income taxes that were not paid for the years 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Richard Strada, a Democrat, is a former Mayor, and Carmine Inteso, a Republican Councilman, is running as an Independent. McGuckin is up against both of these candidates.
After much deliberation and consideration, McGuckin made the decision to withdraw from the competition. Today, he holds the position of Director of Governmental Law for the Township of Toms River, in addition to at least 21 other public occupations, each of which pays him an annual salary that is greater than $1.7 million.
At this moment, it is unknown what the status of McGuckin’s liens is going to be.