TOMS RIVER, NJ – Toms River Mayor Mo Hill and his lawyer, Gregory P. McGuckin may be staring down the barrel of a new lawsuit after their newly formed “New Toms River Reiver Republican Club” is facing serious legal challenges.
John Carbone, a lawyer is now challenging the Mo Hill’s new Republican club.
First, the chairwoman of the Regular Toms River Republican Club, Geri Ambrosio said Hill and McGuckin had been trying for the past year to force a coup in the Republican party. Hill and McGuckin wanted to unseat the club’s executive team and put their own political allies in charge of the party.
After several failed attempts to take over the club using Democratic and legal methods, McGuckin made an ultimatum to the club.
“Resign now, or Mo Hill and I will form our new club,” is essentially what McGuckin said in a recording of a prior club meeting.
McGuckin called on the board to step down so he and Hill could take control. The board said no. So, Hill and McGuckin rounded up whoever they could and formed a new club.
Accommodating Hill and McGuckin, Ocean County GOP Chairman, who blasted former President Donald J. Trump in January, saying the party should start electing more responsible leaders in light of the January 6th Capitol incursion, paved the way for the new club’s approval.
Second, the club was incorporated by elected officials. Toms River Councilman Matt Lotano, Kevin Geohegan and Joshua Kopp officially formed the new club for Hill and McGuckin.
Under New Jersey state law, elected officials are legally prohibited from such actions as a way to create separation between party politics, campaign finances and government affairs.
Third, several people who are on the new club’s roster said they were never asked to join the club, never paid dues, never attended a meeting and didn’t want to be part of the new club. Other members of the new club, it was found now reside out of state and yet others are simply dead.
Former Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore said he is deciding whether or not to force the issue and file a complaint against the County GOP and Mo Hill’s new Toms River club.
The vote was taken by a defacto “County Council” consisting of club presidents and municipal chairmen. The County Council is not legitimate according to the county organization’s bylaws. Instead, the vote should have been conducted by the duly elected members of the county municipal committee who have not met once since Frank B. Holman became chairman of the party.
The fight for legitimacy revolves around the “county line”, which has proven to be worthless in Ocean County since Holman took power. On several occasions, Holman’s line has been defeated by voters in Ocean County. Ocean County was once the most powerful Republican organization in New Jersey, but in recent years has struggled to control its own line.