TOMS RIVER, NJ – Pay to play politics and nepotism are nothing new in Ocean County. In fact, Ocean County is second in state corruption only to the Democrat controlled Hudson County, but sometimes, nepotism and pay to play collide in an orgy of corruption that is what Ocean County is most known for politically these days. Case in point, Toms River Councilman Josh Kopp getting a large campaign donation from his uncle’s engineering firm, then appointing his uncle to a $189,000 per year job with the township planning board.
Toms River Councilman Josh Kopp’s uncle by marriage, Doug Klee, of Owen Little & Associates received $189,000 this year taxpayer money after being appointed to the Toms River Planning Board. That job, Councilman Daniel Rodrick said, was a political pay to play favor given to Klee by his nephew, Kopp. On Tuesday, Rodrick was asked to pay a $4,000 legal bill by the township council for his lawsuit against Mo Hill for the illegal hiring of no-show attorney Gregory P. McGuckin. Rodrick agreed to pay that bill as soon as Kopp repaid the township $189,000 paid so far this year to Klee for his patronage appointment to the planning board. Kopp routinely abstains from the bills and claims portion of the meeting for bills paid to Klee’s firm because of his familial relationship. Prior to being awarded the position last year shortly after Kopp took office, Klee served on the less-paying planning board. Klee’s firm donated thousands of dollars to the political campaign of Mo Hill, Kopp, Matt Lotano, and Kevin Geoghegan.