Disgraced Ocean County Mayor to Be Removed from Office Under Attendance Loophole

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OCEAN GATE, NJ – The Ocean Gate Borough Council has no legal authority to remove disgraced Mayor Paul Kennedy over his avalanche of criminal charges related to his position in the borough, but because he has not attended a meeting since the news broke, the council invoked an attendance clause.

Under that clause, according to borough attorney Jean Cipriani, the council ruled Kennedy has forfeited his right to remain in office after failing to participate in any government meetings in the past eight weeks.

Cipriani claims Kennedy has voluntarily vacated his seat as mayor at Wednesday’s council meeting.

Kennedy, a Republican had been caught in a pile of charges including stealing funds from the borough and ordering county workers to perform work while they were on the clock at their public job.

Since Kennedy’s arrest and charges, the FBI has also taken interest in the area as they launched a probe into county hiring practices. Whether that probe is related to Kennedy or whether or not Kennedy is cooperating with the county, state, and federal investigators are uncertain at this time.

Federal and state law enforcement have been investigating a multitude of possible wrongdoings by elected officials in Toms River, Jackson, Ocean Gate, and at the Ocean County level with multiple probes and subpoenas being delivered over the past two years into the conduct of various elected officials.

The agencies have submitted multiple subpoenas for personnel records and for documents regarding hiring practices at Ocean County Board of Commissioners.

New Jersey State Police have also been interviewing employees in Jackson Township in an unrelated criminal investigation possibly involving township officials and construction projects.

None of the investigating agencies, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, State Police, FBI, or Attorney General’s Office would comment for this story as they do not discuss ongoing investigations.