TOMS RIVER, NJ – The New Jersey Corruption and Government Crime Bureau is now investigating claims that a Toms River Township public land sale may have violated the law according to government sources. The investigation was launched after Toms River Councilman Daniel Rodrick announced on Tuesday that he was providing his evidence that the land sale to an anonymous post office box was riddled with red flags and inconsistencies in township legal documents and filings.
When asked about the investigation today, Peter Aseltine, spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General today said simply, “We do not have any comment.”
The Office of Public Integrity & Accountability, under the leadership of longtime federal prosecutor Thomas J. Eicher, handles all public integrity matters within the Attorney General’s Office and includes a team of experienced prosecutors and detectives from the Division of Criminal Justice and the New Jersey State Police. OPIA reports directly to the Attorney General to ensure the independence of sensitive investigations.
“We must root out the corruption and misconduct that undermine faith in our public institutions. Our country and our state face significant challenges, and we won’t be able to meet them if people do not trust that those in authority are working single-mindedly for the public good. We must create a culture of accountability where powerful individuals and institutions know that they must act with integrity or else face the consequences,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.
On Tuesday, Rodrick announced he had turned over his findings to the public corruption branch of the bureau.
OPIA investigates and prosecutes criminal abuses of the public trust and handles other sensitive matters that implicate the public’s confidence in both government and the criminal justice system, including government corruption and fraud.
The land sale was put on the council agenda by Council President Maria Maruca, an employee of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Rodrick also implicated Toms River Councilman Matt Lotano who admitted during Tuesday’s meeting that he had an existing business relationship with the auction house that brokered the deal.
At question is the legality of the sale and the finagling of government documents to hide the individual purchaser of the property, Chaim Sabel from government documents, instead, using an LLC, 1810 Hinds Road LLC, which was formed days after the auction was complete as the purchaser of the property.