TRENTON, NJ — Former Lake Como Mayor Brian Wilton has been named deputy chief counsel for authorities in Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration.
In his new role as director of authorities, Wilton will oversee and monitor the operations of more than 50 independent state and bistate agencies on behalf of the governor, including the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which is led by former Belmar Mayor Matthew Doherty.
In less than a five-month span this year, both Democratic Belmar and Lake Como mayors resigned from their elected municipal posts to join the Murphy administration.
Wilton's promotion comes less than three months after he joined the governor’s office as a counsel in the authorities unit. He is now one of three deputy chief counsels who served on Murphy’s 12-member senior staff.
Although the Murphy administration’s press office has not yet officially announced the appointment, which takes effect this month, Wilton confirmed it himself during Lake Como Day on September 29.
He assumes the post from Mary Maples, who served in the chief counsel role in both the Chris Christie and Murphy administrations. She has joined University Hospital in Newark as general counsel.
Wilton served 13 total years in elected office in Lake Como — as a council member and council president, planning board member and then as mayor for nearly four years. In 2017, he lost a bid for a Monmouth County freeholder seat.
During his mayoral tenure, Lake Como negotiated a 10-year police contract with neighboring Belmar after residents in 2016 voted down a major tax increase, resulting in the elimination of the borough’s 10-member force.
A supporter of shared services agreements among municipalities, Wilton also played an instrumental role earlier this year when Lake Como outsourced its fire and first aid services to Belmar “in the interest of public safety” — a response to declining response rates by the borough's volunteer South Belmar Fire Department and South Belmar First Aid Squad.
A partner in the Tinton-Falls based Wilton Law Firm, Wilton served as municipal prosecutor in Red Bank and Freehold Borough. He received his law degree from Seton Hall University, Newark.
In 2017, Wilton has among 160 U.S. civilian leaders — including three from New Jersey and the only one from Monmouth County — who participated in the U.S. Army War College’s 63rd Annual National Security Seminar. The prestigious forum gives select community representatives from government, business and academics the opportunity to discuss significant national security issues with leaders of the U.S. armed forces.
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