TOMS RIVER, NJ – Toms River Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill who has been touting his township as a diverse community, welcome to all has fired his openly gay business administrator, Don Guardian as he continues to recover on medical leave.
On June 9th, during zoom meeting, Guardian passed out and suffered a serious medical episode. He was in town hall, conducting a zoom meeting with members of the township council and passed out. Nobody in the meeting realized Guardian was no longer at his desk, participating in the meeting until the meeting was over.
The entire Toms River council and legal advisers held the entire meeting while Guardian lay on the floor in distress in his office. Guardian did not participate in that meeting, which he typically hosts. After the meeting, a participant at that meeting went to check up on the business administrator to find him laying on the floor. Guardian is now recovering from a possible stroke and has not been to work since.
This week, while Guardian was preparing to return to work after being on medical leave since June, he got his pink slip by Mayor Hill. Hill replaced Guardian with former DPW Director Lou Amoroso. Amoroso’s promotion came with mixed reactions from current and former township employees.
While Mo Hill’s handpicked councilmembers praised Amoroso as a local hero, some reached out to Shore News Network with a warning that Amoroso might not be the right guy for the job.
Amoroso previously served as business administrator for former Mayor Thomas Kelaher. Kelaher this week would not say why but confirmed that Amoroso was demoted from the position under his administration.
Others worried about Amoroso’s deep political involvement in Toms River as an area for concern. Amoroso is a political enforcer for Mayor Hill. We have been in receipt of hundreds of pages of township emails, internal memos, and personal accounts by township employees regarding Amoroso, but have yet to sift through them for relevant findings.
One source at town hall says Amoroso did not like Guardian and often made homophobic slurs against Guardian, including calling the openly gay administrator a “pillow biter”.
Guardian was a front line fighter against discrimination against the LGBT community. He found himself in the very unique position of being an openly gay Republican mayor of Atlantic City, one of the most diverse cities in New Jersey.
After losing his last election, former Mayor Thomas Kelaher hired Guardian because of his experience successfully managing a large city like Atlantic City. Guardian was the city’s first-ever openly gay mayor and first Republican mayor of Atlantic City in nearly 15 years at the time of his victory.
Guardian ushered in a new era of LGBT acceptance in Toms River, establishing a gay pride day, in which the Toms River Council and Mayor Hill attended.
If you wish to provide insight into this story for future updates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions are confidential.