Corruption Watch: Toms River’s New $500,000 Head Lawyer Misses Another Public Council Meeting

TOMS RIVER, NJ – Toms River has hired a new lawyer to be head of the township’s legal department.  Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin, who has dozens of public legal service contracts in towns across Ocean County was hired earlier this spring by Mayor Hill to take charge of the township’s legal services.  Since being hired for the job, a contract estimated to be worth approximately $500,000, McGuckin has missed every public township council meeting.

That’s because McGuckin is also the chief legal counsel for neighboring Jackson Township, where he earns nearly $250,000 annually for that job.  Jackson Township and Toms River Township both hold their twice-per-month public meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.  Those times conflict with each other and McGuckin chooses to go to the Jackson meeting instead each week.

McGuckin solicited Ocean County mayors and boards for legal services in his new power role with the Ocean County GOP under Chairman Frank Holman.  Mayors reported that McGuckin used heavy-handed tactics and political horse-trading to increase his wealth in the winter of 2019-2020.  He was subsequently hired by Lacey Township and Manchester Township as lead legal counsel in those towns too.

We had a chance to ask McGuckin how one man can hold so many jobs and how he will manage such a busy schedule in addition to being a New Jersey Assemblyman and running his own private law firm, which also serves as the legal counsel for the Lakewood Zoning Board.

“I don’t have to explain my schedule to you or anyone,” McGuckin said.

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