The mayor of the small county of Ocean County has been accused of selling city property and pocketing proceeds.
Ocean Gate Mayor Paul J. Kennedy sold assets belonging to the district on a government auction site called GovDeals.com and used the proceeds to his advantage, according to Ocean County Attorney Bradley Billhimer.
Billhimer also claims that Kennedy, a 66-year-old Republican, did not deposit money from a parking meter into Ocean Gate’s bank account, and that he sold office furniture from the area on Facebook and kept the money.
Kennedy is charged with official misconduct and theft.
The charges against Kennedy appeared 17 days before the deadline for applications for the June primaries. Kennedy will be re-elected this year. He has held public office for over 20 years.
This is not the first time Kennedy, a longtime ally of former Oceanian Republican Party chairman George Gilmore, has faced claims that he has violated state law.
The New Jersey Local Finance Council fined him in 2014 for taking in about $ 50,000 for part-time work in the town of Ocean Gate when he was mayor.
Kennedy apparently hired himself as an acting administrator, HR director, insurance administrator and disability coordinator.
At the same time, Kennedy worked full-time as a carpenter in Ocean County.
The scandal nearly cost Kennedy the post of mayor. In the general election that fall, Democrat Chris A. Theodos garnered 52 votes from Kennedy’s ouster.
State Court of Appeal mostly sided with Kennedy in his appeal.
The Ocean County Sheriff’s Department handled Kennedy today and released him for future trial.
Ocean Gate with 1932 residents is located between the Toms River and the town of Berkeley.