TOMS RIVER-The Toms River Township Council has voted to approve the dissolution of the in-house legal counsel team by means of a township ordinance to remove the town’s “Department of Law” and replace it with the “Division of Law”, which would allow Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill to appoint political campaign donors to six-figure legal counsel contracts in the township.
Currently, Mo Hill’s campaign advisor, Gregory P. McGuckin has been gobbling up municipal law contracts worth an estimated two million dollars annually for his private law firm in towns such as Lakewood, Jackson, Manchester and Lacey. The mayors in those towns hired McGuckin, who served as Hill’s transition team manager after hill secured his victory in the 2019 mayoral election.
Now, Hill and the council have removed the roadblock to hiring McGuckin, or another campaign financial donor to received the contract, worth an estimated quarter of a million dollars.
Councilman Daniel Rodrick was the lone no-vote on the now tight-locked political alliance between township Democrats and Republicans on the council.
“I would consider supporting outsourcing the legal department, provided it was the entire legal department, as I have expressed to the mayor and pending there is a provision in the ordinance that would prohibit folks from getting contracted work who were political campaign donors.”
Rodrick did not mention McGuckin by name, but McGuckin has been appointed to a lucrative legal counsel in all of the towns who now report directly to Ocean County Chairman Frank B. Holman and follow his direction and that of his underlings in municipal office.