TOMS RIVER, NJ – Reeling from a major political defeat, the members of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners are reportedly expediting the process to hire retired State Police officer Tristin J. Collins to replace current County Administrator Carl Block.
Collins, who was criticized for receiving preferential treatment by Virginia Haines, who passed along handwritten notes to the other commissioners, urging them to hire Collins, is reportedly getting fast-tracked. This comes as Ocean County Republicans voted to elect George Gilmore to become the new chairman of the county organization.
Gilmore questioned Haines on the odd hiring of Collins and why no other people were being interviewed for the important job. Collins received a personal tour of the county offices by administration executives. Haines, at the time, lied and said she never recommended him for the job.
Days later, Shore News Network received a handwritten memo written by Haines to the other members of the Board of Commissioners urging them to back her guy for the job.
No other candidates were interviewed. The job was never publicly posted.
Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore is an ally of outgoing administrator Carl Block. The move to speed up the hiring of Collins is similar to the reappointment of Jackson Mayor Michael Reina last week to an unheard-of five-year, six-figure contract as bridge supervisor in the county.
Also, Haines’ faction Republicans are seeking to replace retiring Steve Scaturro, Director of Ocean County Consumer Affairs, and awarding that job to New Jersey Assemblyman John Catalano.
These rushed appointments come just days after Sheriff Michael Mastronardy was defeated by Gilmore a week ago in the Ocean County GOP chairman’s election.
After the election, Haines led a plundering of party resources and facilities, shutting off the OCGOP website, deleting GOP email accounts, and removing items she claims were personal belongings from the party headquarters in Downtown Toms River.