Did he use information obtained in disposition of lawsuit?
Republican Freeholder candidate John Curley today denounced his opponent, Democrat Sean Byrnes, for voting as a member of the Middletown Township Committee against the appointment of Mr. Thomas F. Stokes to the Middletown Sewerage Authority while he was trial counsel in a lawsuit involving Mr. Stokes, a clear violation of state law.
“For Mr. Byrnes to vote on this man’s appointment, instead of recusing himself, is unethical and frankly, unconscionable. Anybody who has been a local elected official for five minutes could see that this is a total conflict of interest and that he had no business voting on this appointment. If Mr. Byrnes cant recognize a conflict on a matter as clear cut as this, how can anyone believe he’ll do it as a Freeholder?”
At issue is a January 6, 2008 vote where Mr. Byrnes discussed and voted against Mr. Stokes’ appointment to the Middletown Sewerage Authority. Mr. Stokes has filed complaints with the Local Finance Board and the Attorney Ethics Committee, pointing out that Mr. Byrnes signed several court documents identifying him as trial counsel in the lawsuit against Mr. Stokes and providing the minutes of the January 2008 meeting where Mr. Byrnes discussed and voted against Mr. Stokes.
Curley also wanted to know if any information from the lawsuit was discussed or was part of Byrnes’ decision making process.
“Mr. Byrnes needs to come clean with the voters of Monmouth County right now- did he or did he not use any information gained from his position as a trial attorney in the lawsuit against Mr. Stokes to make his decision or influence others?”, asked Curley. “ If he did, he has a lot bigger problems than just the Local Finance Board.”
Curley closed by saying “ This episode shows a shocking lack of judgment from a man who wants Monmouth County voters to put their trust in him for the next 3 years to do the right thing on their behalf. I think voters have every right to consider this in two weeks when they cast their votes for the next Monmouth County Freeholder.”