Ocean Gate, NJ mayor accused of pocketing campaign and scrap funds

Ocean Gate Mayor Paul Kennedy has been accused of a new round of shady dealings, including forcing Ocean County employees to do renovations for him while he was on the job, as well as by pocketing campaign funds and scrap metal proceeds.

The 66-year-old is now charged with three counts of official misconduct and theft, Ocean County District Attorney Bradley Billhimer announced Wednesday.

Kennedy is still mayor of the borough of less than 2,000, though colleagues have called for his resignation and his salary was cut from $50,000 to a dollar by angry council members over the allegations. previous ones, as reported NJ.com.

He has previously admitted to keeping thousands of dollars after selling several borough vehicles through the auction website, GovDeals.com, as reported by NJ Globe.

Kennedy previously faced official misconduct and theft charges filed in March stemming from the sale of vehicles as well as charges of withholding parking meter funds and selling a borough conference table on Facebook. Marketplace, according to the same report, citing a criminal complaint.

Investigators have since discovered that the mayor kept money from the sale of scrap metal from the borough’s recycling center, Billihimer said, while also privately using funds donated through “Friends of Ocean Gate.” for his re-election campaign and for the Republican running mates.

Kennedy worked as a carpenter for Ocean County in the Buildings and Grounds Department, though a county spokesperson said Wednesday he was suspended without pay, pending a hearing.

Billhimer said investigators found he sent county employees to do construction work at his Ocean Gate home while they were at the meeting.

Kennedy was processed and released on summons, pending a future court date.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at [email protected]

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