Monmouth County Freeholder Anna Little has denied allegations that she has accepted Christmas gifts from county employees and says that rumors that she has accepted free heating oil for her home are the result of “character assassination” at the hands of her fellow Republicans. “Friends and supporters have gotten to know my kids, and have become very fond of them. A number of people got together unbeknownst to me, and created a Christmas pool to give something to my kids. Upon discovering this, I thanked the group for their generosity and paid for the gifts before taking delivery of them,” Little said. “I think it is despicable that generosity, inspired by the Christmas season, has been perverted and exploited by these rumor mongers.” Rumors that she had accepted free deliveries of heating oil from the Larrison Coal and Oil Company, which had been owned by the late Freeholder Harry Larrison, are not true, Little says. “I have not sought, nor have I received any free heating oil for my home. I have paid for all heating oil delivered to my home,” Little wrote. She said that there “is no truth to rumors about my personal financial situation.” “I realized that not being a ‘yes man’ would have its price but I didn’t expect such vile insinuations about my love for and commitment to my family,” said Little. “I think it is despicable that generosity, inspired by the Christmas season, has been perverted and exploited by these rumor mongers. While I cannot control the overwhelming generosity of those who love and support me, I will do everything in my power to maintain the integrity of the elected office in which I serve.” Little, who is up for re-election this year, blames the barage of rumors on her political independence. “I never knew that having a different opinion about who to employ as a county professional, or which campaign contributions to accept, would arise to a character assassination,” said the first-term Freeholder. “Certainly county committee conventions and leadership elections leave a bad taste in some peoples’ mouths, but starting a character assassination over who is county counsel, and returned campaign contributions was unpredictable.