TOMS RIVER, NJ – What do elected officials in Toms River and Ocean County have to do with a two-time convict, former school board member living in Seaside Heights? We’re not sure, but here’s what we know so far.
Rich Ciullo, the leader of an Ocean County-based hate group that has been banned once again from Facebook has a large following that includes mayors, freeholders, council people, and many officers within the hierarchy of the Ocean County GOP.
Convicted in February of 2020 of check fraud, his second criminal conviction, Ciullo was sentenced to serve time in the Ocean County Jail, but COVID-19 spared him time in lock-up for now.
Ciullo, before being banned by Facebook once again ran a page filled with hateful imagery, videos and attacks against Orthodox Jews in Lakewood, Toms River, and Jackson has large support following that includes Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill, Toms River Councilman Kevin Geoghegan, Howell Township Business Manager Brian Geoghegan, Plumsted Mayor Jack Trotta, New Jersey Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin and others in the Ocean County GOP establishment.
The hate group operated by Ciullo, an avid “Never Trumper” is now possibly being funded by the Ocean County GOP organization. In October, Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari, who recently won his re-election confirmed that GOP Chairman Frank Holman was shopping for a hit-man to attack Shore News Network. Vicari said Holman offered the job to Monmouth County blogger Art Gallagher. Gallagher vehemently denies his involvement but was paid $4,000 by Holman last month. Vicari, who was running for re-election said he does not know why Holman and the Ocean County GOP finance committee paid Gallagher. Gallagher confirmed that he has been asked by the Ocean County GOP and Mayor Mo Hill and his inner circle to run a harassment campaign against Shore News Network. Gallagher said he not only turned those offers down, but advised his former employers not to pursue those desires.
Vicari was one of five freeholders who last year condemned Ciullo and his hate group for rampant anti-Semitic postings on social media. Ciullo is also named in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice against the Township of Jackson as a peddler of hate and antisemitism.
Another source on the Ocean County Finance Committee who wished to remain anonymous alleges that Ciullo is being supported if not paid by Gallagher who they claim is the author of several posts on Ciullo’s perverse, hate-filled social media page. That page includes videos of Lakewood school children, photos of Jewish children and cartoon caricatures of children, often naked and usually holding sex toys in their hands. On that page, Ocean County’s elected officials have been seen “liking” and “sharing” the nude caricatures of children holding sex objects and some even liked Ciullo’s posting of a complete naked male child cartoon character, with full genitalia depicted.
Holman has denied his involvement with Ciullo but signed and approved the $4,000 check written to Gallagher.
A writing analysis of Ciullo’s postings and Gallagher’s More Monmouth Musings this week detected several similarities in the writing styles and phrase usage unique to More Monmouth Musings on the blog site operated by Ciullo. Gallagher denies he writes content for Ciullo or has any affiliation with the two-time fraudster.
Holman earns over $6,000,000 annually in public contracts through his position within county politics through his accounting firm, Holman, Frenia. Sources within the party confirmed Holman has been shopping around for a hit man to harass Shore News Network, its clients, employees and their family members. Ciullo often brags that he is paid by powerful people to instill fear into his victims, but we’re not afraid…we’re just going to keep exposing the GOP’s close ties to an Anti-Semitic hate group leader who is a two-time convict.