TOMS RIVER, NJ – Lawyers for the Township of Toms River have petitioned the courts to block the release of Business Administrator Lou Amuro’s employment records from the New Jersey State Police. Those records were subpoenaed by lawyers representing former Business Administrator Don Guardian who was fired in 2020 and now suing the township for fostering an anti-homosexual atmosphere within town hall.
Guardian, an openly gay man who previously served as mayor of Atlantic City claims he faced workplace harassment by Mayor Maurice Hill and Hill’s new Business Administrator Lou Amoruso.
In a filing in late March, it was revealed that Amoruso was warned by former Administrator Paul Shives in 2011 for making a violent homophobic slur during a township meeting.
When asked in a sworn deposition if he had ever heard Amoruso use a derogatory term to describe any individual or employee, Shives said yes.
Shives said in 2011, he was in former Mayor Thomas Kelaher’s office in a meeting with Amoruso when the former State Trooper bragged about “busting faggots at the rest stops” while working as a police officer.
“I was in the Mayor’s office, and we were having a meeting, Mr. Amoruso was there, the Mayor was there, Dan Mahoney was there, l was there, we were going over some issues. And when the business was concluded, a conversation was taking place about Mr. Amoruso, asking him, you know, if he missed being a state policeman, because he was a state policeman prior to the time he came in,” Shives testified under oath. “And he said well, “I tell you I miss a couple things. I miss being on the midnight shift and busting faggots at the rest stop.” I waited until the meeting was over and I said to Mayor Kelleher I need to speak with him.”
“I just hope you understand, he said absolutely,” Shives continued. “He said that’s not something we want to be discussing.”
Shives said he brought Amoruso into the office and issued him a warning about his comments.
“So, I did ask Lou Amoruso to come to my office, which he did, and I said to him you made a reference in there to busting homosexuals and how much you looked forward to that,” Shives said. “I said two things I want to let you know, number one, that kind of conversation in any place, at any time, but certainly in a municipal building while you’re an employee is inappropriate. Secondly, just as an illustration that you never know who you’re talking to, my youngest son is gay, and I want you to understand that. I don’t ever want to hear that again.”
While Amoruso’s attorneys argue the former State Troopers public records are too far removed from the incident as he retired in 2005, Guardian’s lawyers contend the records are relevant because he continued bragging about his anti-homosexual behavior during his law enforcement career while at his job at Toms River Town Hall.
So far, the judge in the matter has not ruled either way on the release of those employment records, which the Guardian team thinks could help paint a larger picture of homophobic actions by Amoruso.
The Township of Toms River said they will not be commenting on this case when asked in March.