Thursday, September 18, 2014

Former Mayor Lucas Found Guilty in Land Deal; Democrats Call To Reinstate Ethics Board

Former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas was found guilty on all 11 federal charges against him earlier today in his scheme that bilked Manalapan, Monmouth County and state residents of nearly $1.2 million of farmland preservation funds.  Lucas is now facing a long jail sentence in a federal penitentiary.
"A jury in federal court here has found former Manalapan mayor Andrew Lucas guilty of all charges in an indictment surrounding a questionable land deal that netted him nearly $1.2 million in taxpayer money.
The jury reached the verdict Thursday following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson.
Lucas, 37, remains free on a $500,000 bond, pending sentencing on Jan. 20, 2015, when he could face decades in federal prison..." - Asbury Park Press, 9/18/14

It should be noted that incumbent Freeholder candidates Lillian Burry and Gary Rich voted in favor of giving Lucas nearly $278K of Monmouth County open space funds. It's because of this and other alleged improprieties by the currently all Republican Monmouth County Freeholders Board that  Democrats are calling for the reinstatement of the short-lived Monmouth County Ethics Board.

"... Democratic candidates Joe Grillo and Larry Luttrell say the ethics board is needed to prevent recent scandals like the farmland preservation land deal involving former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas and financial improprieties by former Brookdale Community College President Peter Burnham.
“The ethics board would be looking at any concerns or ethical issues in county government. It would be a place of redress,” Grillo said. “I think the freeholders owe it to the people we serve.”
Monmouth Democrats have been relentless in trying to pin those scandals and others to their opponents, Republican freeholder incumbents Lillian Burry and Gary Rich...."            - Asbury Park Press,  9/18/14

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