HOWELL, NJ – Democrats and Republicans serving on the Howell Township committee have voted to pass a resolution that immediately terminates the employment of a Toms River man serving as township manager.
Brian Geoghegan was placed on an immediate three-month paid suspension required under New Jersey law, at the end of that time, his employment will be terminated.
Sources within Howell’s government today told Shore News Network that Geoghegan’s firing stems from his abuse of paid time off provided by the township, a possible criminal offense if he was caught stealing funds from the township by being paid for the time he did not work.
Geohegan’s termination united the often disjointed Democrats and Republicans who voted unanimously in a 5-0 vote to fire the retired Jackson Township police officer.
Hired by Howell Republicans in 2017, Geoghegan, earned a salary of $160,000 annual salary plus a $10,000 stipend in lieu of health coverage and a $16,000 annual contribution to his retirement account. In order to hire Geoghegan in 2017, Republicans increased the town manager salary cap which was previously set at $145,000, According to the Asbury Park Press. Geoghegan also collects a $7,392 monthly paycheck from his police pension.
Howell Township has hired auditor Bob Allison, of Holman and Frenia to investigate the potential theft of public funds. That accounting firm was the auditor of record in Ocean Gate, where disgraced former Mayor Paul Kennedy stole thousands of dollars in public funds through several fraudulent scams that diverted money from public auctions and township parking meter collections into his own account.
Geoghegan was the former owner of the Lampost Inn in Pine Beach, before selling the business in 2020.
At this time, no criminal charges have been filed against Geoghegan. Geoghegan’s brother Kevin serves as a councilman in Toms River Township. Last year, state investigators with the Attorney General’s Office subpoenaed township records investigating employment records in the township after allegations of possible healthcare fraud were reported to the state.
Geoghegan serves as a trustee on the executive board of the newly formed Republicans for Toms River club formed by Mayor Maurice Hill, Assemblyman Greg McGuckin and others after years of unsuccessful attempts to takeover the Toms River Regular Republican Club ended in failure.
The state has not released any further information on the status of that investigation.