MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ – Greg McGuckin of the Law firm Dasti, Murphy McGuckin, PC has been charged in Toms River by Toms River Councilman Daniel Rodrick for violating pay to play laws. Rodrick claims McGuckin’s firm to which Manchester Township Attorney Jerry Dasti is also a partner, paid Toms River officials tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations in order to be appointed as the township’s director of public law.
That job carries an annual public salary estimated at $500,000.
In 2018, McGuckin’s partner, Jerry Dasti was appointed by Mayor Kenneth Palmer to serve as Manchster’s legal counsel.
An email between Dasti and member of the Ocean County GOP finance committee was leaked this week showing Dasti engaging in what appears to be a straw donor scheme to funnel money from a Democrat Party donor into the account of Ocean County Surrogate Jeffrey Moran.
The Dasti, McGuckin firm doubled their annual take from the taxpayers of Manchester since Palmer’s appointment of the embattled political patronage law firm. In 2018, the firm earned just $60,000 in public contracts Manchester prior to Palmer winning his election for Mayor.
Now, the firm, under Palmer took in $123,970.53 since being hired in Manchester. The firm took in a total of $1,808,191.35 in public contracts since taking power of the Ocean County Republican Club. This year, the firm is estimated to take in nearly $2.5 million public pay to play and patronage contracts.
We reached out to Mayor Palmer and did not receive a response. We will update if the mayor wishes to provide comment on a story involving his pick for township legal counsel.