Richard Strada, the Democratic candidate for Mayor in Toms River, wants the state Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate the circumstances surrounding the proposed purchase of property formerly known as Albocondo Campground by the Toms River Board of Education.
Strada said in a release: "The fact that (Ocean County Republican Chairman) George Gilmore represented Sandcastle, L.L.C. who bought the property just last year for $3 million dollars and is now poised to sell it for $7.7 million dollars to the school board whom Gilmore also represents sets off alarm bells."
The property in question when sold to Sandcastle was slated to provide 45-acres of open space along the Toms River for public enjoyment while allowing the construction of senior housing on a portion of the tract.
"Mr. Gilmore’s financial relationship to this tax-payer funded transaction and to those who stand to profit from it should be disclosed and scrutinized by law enforcement agencies" stated Strada, who served as Mayor in the 1970's.
The Strada campaign is concerned by what appears to be a pattern of ethical improprieties involving GOP boss Gilmore.
"Last week it was his failure to pay income taxes; this week it’s insider land deals at the taxpayers’ expense. It’s incredible that the School Board continues to retain his counsel amidst these scandals," Strada said.
Strada is running against former Ocean County Prosecutor Thomas Kelaher, who Tuesday officially replaced Gregory P. McGuckin as the Republican candidate in the Toms River Mayoral race.
McGuckin dropped out of the race after the Asbury Park Press reported that the candidate has more than $120,000 in federal tax liens filed against him.