Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thomas Stokes' Statement on Sean Byrnes' Unethical Behaviour

By Thomas Stokes
October 19, 2009

Please refer to the attached documentation that I submitted with my formal complaint against Sean F. Byrnes, Esq., to the local Finance Board in Trenton and to the Attorney Ethics Committee in Monmouth County. I believe you will find it complete, but I ask that you independently verify these facts before going with this story.

It seems very clear that the Democrat candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder is guilty of unethical conduct as a township committee member in Middletown. I am tired of public officials thinking they are above the law, regardless of political party affiliation. Both parties have had their share of problems relating to this "culture of corruption". This is just another example of such arrogant behavior.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, in an address to the Roman Senate, once said, "The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome fall". How timely these words are, even though spoken more than 2000 years ago! Every public official, from local officeholder, to the president, should be forced to memorize these words (and, hopefully, adhere to them).

The Law is quite clear in this matter.

40A:9-22.5 Provisions requiring compliance by local government officers, employees
Local government officers or employees under the jurisdiction of the Local Finance Board shall comply with the following provisions:

d. No local government officer or employee shall act in his official capacity in any matter where he, a member of his immediate family, or a business organization in which he has an interest, has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence o/judgment;

The democrat candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder has been involved in an adversarial relationship with myself, through litigation, since at least 2001. Yet, even though he had this business and personal, adversarial relationship, he failed to recuse himself when my appointment to the Township of Middletown Sewer Authority was discussed. As an attorney, he knows, or should know, better. His refusal to obey the law in this regard should disqualify him from holding any public office, let alone a higher office.

It is indeed unfortunate that I did not discover his personal involvement (I thought it was another Law Firm) until very recently. I only discovered this when he issued a subpoena. After doing diligent research, I discovered he has been involved in litigation as opposing counsel since at least 2001. Litigation is still ongoing, and I was to be deposed by the democrat candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder this Tuesday, October 20. (I was told at 4PM today that it has now been cancelled.) The final portion of the evidence presented, Exhibit VI, I discovered on October 16, 2009.

On January 6, 2008, while I was in an induced medical coma, after my near death experience of December 26, 2007, the democrat candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder both discussed and voted on my appointment to an independent authority. The township committee meeting minutes confirm this and that his vote was against my appointment.

In an editorial, a daily newspaper endorsed the democrat candidate for his being a, "proponent of openness" and “increasing transparency”. Let me see, the record reveals he has refused to obey state ethics law and hides his conflicts of interest by not revealing his involvement. Some “openness”, some "transparency"! Marcus Tullius Cicero also said, "Ability without honor is useless."

Is it any wonder why the majority of people, of all parties, are disgusted with public officials whose arrogance and elitism lead them to believe that "the law does not apply to them" and that the law only applies to others.

One more point, the democrat candidate for freeholder and his supporters seem to be trying to hide his membership in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). In the interest of “openness and transparency”, the fact is, as a matter of public record, the democrat candidate is a member of PERS, has 10 years and 3 months pension service credit (apparently from a political patronage job, or jobs, one of which was in Atlantic Highlands). He actually has enough PERS credit now to file for a retirement. If he were to be elected to the freeholder position, this would only substantially pad his pension entitlement at taxpayer expense. Now that’s a fact he and his supporters don’t want you to know about. (I had to search the Star Ledger public employee database for 2007 (showing 2006 records), as this will not show up in the 2007 or 2008 records.)

“Openness and transparency” seem to be swept under the rug by the democrat candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder.

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