With a nod to the continued allowed corruption in Ocean County, Manchester keeps its’ head in the sand.
*From Jersey Shore Online:
MANCHESTER – The township has no plans to terminate its contracts with attorneys who work for George Gilmore.
Gilmore, 69, of Toms River, was indicted on six counts by a federal grand jury: one count of tax evasion; two counts of failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes for two quarters of one year; two counts of filing a false tax return; and one count of alleged loan application fraud. He allegedly owes more than $1 million in federal taxes while having spent more than $2.5 million on extravagant personal expenses.
Manchester Township resident Hank Glenn asked at a recent Township Council meeting whether Gilmore’s indictments made them reconsider using his or associated attorneys’ services.
Mayor Kenneth Palmer, sitting in the audience, jumped in to answer.
“The indictment, if you read through it, was more for his personal dealings than for his business dealings. Angela [Koutsouris-Zografos] is counsel there, and certainly we don’t have any intention of having Angela leave us. So his problems are really more personal than have to do with his business practice,” Palmer said.
Palmer further clarified his comments the next day with The Manchester Times, saying that Gilmore and his law firm’s rendering of services to clients are not under any legal scrutiny. For instance, Gilmore isn’t accused of double-billing clients, or billing for work that was never done. Palmer, an attorney himself, scours the legal bills the township pays to its attorneys, and has always found Gilmore’s to be on the up-and-up.
Gilmore’s attorney, Kevin Marino, of Marino, Tortorella & Boyle, P.C. in Chatham, New Jersey, said in an article published Jan. 11 on APP.com that Gilmore suffers from a “hoarding disorder” causing him to spend beyond his means, something the federal government was aware of before the indictments were handed down. Gilmore will continue with his work and political commitments while fighting the charges.
In addition to being the Ocean County GOP Chair and head of the Board of Elections, Gilmore is also a partner in the Toms River law firm Gilmore & Monahan. Attorneys employed by his firm, or those who have a working relationship with Gilmore & Monahan, are found in several towns in Ocean County.
In Manchester, Gilmore & Monahan partner Jean Cipriani and Associate Robin LaBue are the township’s affordable housing attorneys.
Koutsouris-Zagrafos is “of counsel” with Gilmore & Monahan, meaning she has a working relationship with the firm but is not a partner or associate.
All three have worked for the township since January 2015, Business Administrator Donna Markulic told The Manchester Times. She added that she has never met or dealt with Gilmore since she started as business administrator in March 2015.