TOMS RIVER, NJ – There is one fact. Last year, the Attorney General’s Office subpoenaed thousands of documents from Toms River Township Business Administrator Lou Amoroso and Mayor Maurice Hill.
In October of last year, the Attorney General’s Office conducted a massive state audit of personnel records in Toms River. We knew that to be a fact, but what we did not know at the time is exactly what the sate investigators were looking for.
We also knew for a fact that an investigation by the state’s criminal investigating arm was looking into wrongdoing by officials in Toms River. We just didn’t know who…or for what.
On Tuesday, Toms River Councilman Daniel Rodrick shed some light on what the Attorney General’s office might be looking for in Toms River. Some have cited Rodrick’s allegation as a violation of township ethics, but the worker no longer is employed by the township, so his allegation may not have violated any confidential employee-employer privacy policies at the township level.
Additionally, Rodrick’s statement may very well be protected under whistleblower protections.
Rodrick claimed that a girlfriend of Ocean County GOP Boss Frank B. Holman is illegally collecting retirement benefits she is not legally entitled to collect. If true, this could be what the OAG’s office was investigating back in October. It was alleged that this girlfriend retired from the township and is collecting full health and pension benefits despite not working the required amount of years necessary for those benefits.
The OAG requested time cards, payroll records, health insurance records, bank accounts, retirement records and more. It was obvious that the office was looking to see if any criminal activities regarding township benefits were taking place.
Instead of rebutting Rodrick, Toms River Council President Kevin Geoghegan, a close ally of Mayor Mo Hill turned off Rodrick’s microphone, silencing him. Rodrick’s comments were also deleted from the township’s official public record of the meeting.
We reached out to Business Administrator Amoroso today and will update the story if he decides to provide comment.
If true, the allegation could implicate Business Administrator Amoroso and Mayor Maurice Hill possibly as accomplices to a benefits fraud scheme.
As a result of Executive Order 138, the Pension Fraud and Abuse Unit within the Department of the Treasury was established to prevent and investigate cases of intentional deception or misrepresentation that result in an unauthorized benefit to a member or to some other person from the State-administered retirement systems and benefits programs.
This includes, but is not limited to, Disability pension claims and improper participation in the retirement systems and other benefit programs. Any individual who willfully and knowingly engages in an activity intended to defraud or abuse these systems and programs may be prosecuted.