Trump Pardons Former Ocean County GOP Boss George Gilmore

George Gilmore (Photo courtesy Ocean County)

OCEAN COUNTY – As the sun sets on his first and only term as Commander in Chief, well, so far, President Donald Trump granted clemency to 143 people including a familiar name to Jersey Shore residents: former Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore.

According to a press release put out by The White House, President Trump pardoned 73 individuals and commuted the sentences of 70 others early Wednesday, just hours before his term ends.

Gilmore, 71, of Toms River, was convicted of not paying federal income tax for his employees and lying on a loan application. He was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Gilmore had been in the process of appealing his conviction on the tax evasion and fraud charges.

Back in December, Gilmore’s attorney, Kevin Marino, told Jersey Shore Online that they were petitioning for the entire appellate court to rehear the case-not just a panel.

All of that changed early Wednesday with President Trump’s decision. According to The White House release, Gilmore’s pardon is supported by Bill Stepien, former Governor Chris Christie, James McGreevey, James Florio, Donald DiFrancesco, John Bennett, Kimberly Guadagno, Thomas MacArthur, Gerald Cardinale, Michael Testa, Jr., David Avella, Joseph Buckelew, Lawrence Bathgate II, Larry Weitzner, and Adam Geller.  

The release went on to say that Gilmore was convicted for failure to pay payroll taxes and false statements but he has made important civic contributions over his career in New Jersey.

George Gilmore watches a presentation by Dave Roberts at Toms River Town Hall (Photo by Chris Lundy)

Gilmore is the grandson of late Seaside Heights mayor J. Stanley Tunney, of which the Tunney bridge between Toms River and Seaside is named.

Gilmore’s law firm did work for a number of towns, which dissolved their contracts with him after his arrest. He also had to step down from being chairman of the county Republicans. 

Frank Holman took his place, but he is reportedly still very influential in local politics.

In fact, several sources stated that he persuaded local Republicans to back David Richter in the 3rd District Congressional race. Richter ultimately lost to incumbent Andy Kim.

Gilmore has remained active in politics, attending county events and forming a political consulting firm with Commissioner Jack Kelly.

Chris Lundy contributed to this report