GOP seeks ethics charges against Howell Mayor for vaccinating police officers

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HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ – Howell Township Mayor Theresa Berger is under fire from Monmouth County Republicans who claim she violated ethics laws by vaccinated the township’s police officers.

Republicans, led by town attorney Joseph Clark have filed a complaint with the Local Finance Board after Berger was able to secure COVID-19 vaccines for the township’s police officers and front-line first responders.

Clark, the son-in-law of former Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett says it’s not an attack or complaint, he just wants to make sure Berger, a Democrat did not violate any laws.

Related: Howell Mayor Berger Being Sued for Stopping Controversial Solid Waste Facility


“This isn’t about stopping vaccines in Howell. This is making sure that we account for potential liability,” Township Attorney Joseph Clark told the Asbury Park Press in a phone interview. “I’d rather make sure we have all our ducks in a row and get people vaccinated.”

Berger is coming off 2020 election victory where she easily defeated Republicans in the majority GOP township.

Berger is the CEO of the non-profit Ocean Health Initiatives and Clark alleges Berger might have received some sort of personal privilege or advantage for her goodwill, but Clark did not clarify.

Related: Howell Council Woman Says DWI Arrest Was a “Misstep” During a “Dark Place”

Instead, he is asking the state to review the matter to see if they can find anything wrong with vaccinating police officers. Clark alleges that since Berger’s salary is paid by OHI, she is receiving compensation.

” Our gratitude to Howell Mayor Theresa Berger who is President and CEO of Ocean Health Initiatives and her staff for arranging the appointments and providing the shots to our personnel. Together we are better,” said Howell Police Chief Anthony Kudrick as officers began getting vaccinated.

Howell Township canceled their second vaccination clinic for its public employees after Clark raised objections.

“It is a sad day when town officials politicize efforts to protect our seniors,” she said, according to the Asbury Park Press. “This is what it’s become: putting politics over serving our community and saving lives. Is this really what we as a council want to look like?”

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