Ocean County GOP Leader Resigns From Election Board

Kim Guadagno with George Gilmore. (Photo courtesy of John Raue via Twitter)

  TOMS RIVER – George Gilmore, head of the county Republicans, has resigned this week from the Board of Elections, according to officials.

  Gilmore had been convicted of three charges related to tax evasion with his firm, Gilmore & Monahan. This firm does a lot of work for local municipalities.

  He had been serving as the chairman of this board until his resignation effective April 23, according to county administrator Carl Block. He has also put in his paperwork to the state to retire effective May 1. This is the only regular county employment he has.

  By statute, the Board of Elections is made up of two Republicans and two Democrats. These positions are appointed by the governor and they expire every two years. Gilmore was last appointed by Chris Christie on May 26, 2016. He receives $22,500 a year for this job, as well as insurance benefits and a pension.

  Another commissioner, Rabbi Yisroel Schenkolewski, was last appointed by Jon Corzine on May 20, 2009.

  The other two commissioners, Matthew Sage and Wyatt Earp, were appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy and their positions expire in 2020 and 2021. Earp makes $37,750. Sage and Schenkolewski make $15,000. Sage is the only one who doesn’t get insurance.

  When Murphy’s office was asked about the missing appointment paperwork regarding the Board of Elections, a spokesman replied “The Governor’s Office does not comment on appointments that have not yet been made.”

  Schenkolewski’s re-appointment is pending, Block said. The request to re-appoint is making its way through state offices now.

  Although Gilmore and Schenkolewski’s appointments appear to have been lapsed, Block said these were holdover appointments. These positions need to be filled, and in case of a delay in making an appointment, the current members hold onto their spots.

  The county Republicans now must submit a new name to the state to appoint someone into that spot, Block explained.

  According to New Jersey Statute 19:31-17, Gilmore, having been convicted of a crime, can not vote. Additionally, he might have been removed if he had not stepped down voluntarily. According to NJSA 19:6-4 Removal of members: “A judge of the Superior Court or the county board shall have power to dismiss any member of a district board from such board for an illegal act, or for any cause which shall be determined in a summary way by such judge or county board.”

The Charges

  Gilmore, 70, of Toms River, was found guilty of one charge of making false statements on a 2015 loan application submitted to Ocean First Bank, and two charges of failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes withheld from employees for two quarters in 2016. These are related to his law firm of Gilmore & Monahan. This firm does work with many municipalities, including Berkeley, Manchester, and Lacey.

  A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office detailed the charges. As a partner and shareholder at Gilmore & Monahan, he was in control of the law firm’s financials. For tax quarters ending March 31, 2016 and June 30, 2016, the firm withheld tax payments from its employees’ checks, but Gilmore did not pay them in full to the IRS.

  Regarding the loan application, he applied for a Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) to obtain refinancing of a mortgage loan for $1.5 million with a “cash out” provision that provided Gilmore would obtain cash from the loan on Nov. 21, 2014. On Jan. 22, 2015, he updated the application, failing to disclose outstanding 2013 tax liabilities and personal loans he got from other people. He had received $572,000 from the cash out portion of the loan.

George Gilmore (File Photo)

  The jury was not able to reach a decision on the charge of tax evasion for years 2013, 2014, and 2015, the court spokesman said. He was acquitted of two charges of filing false tax returns for calendar years 2013 and 2014.

  The sentencing date will be July 23. The two counts of failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The count of loan application fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

  He had been accused of evading more than $1 million in taxes. Meanwhile, he had been spending a great deal on home remodeling and lavish decorations, reportedly such things as a mammoth tusk and a statue of George Washington.

  His attorney, Kevin Marino, had said that these purchases were due to a hoarding disorder, and even retained a psychological expert to testify about it. However, the federal government did not want to hear that testimony.

  His attorney has said in The Asbury Park Press that he is seeking to overturn the conviction. He did not return a request to comment for this story.