HOLMDEL, NJ - The long year in Holmdel government is not over yet.
On Friday, a civil complaint was filed in court by Mayor Eric Hinds that lists three elected officials in regard to a censure action against Hinds prior to the election. The allegations listed in the civil action also include secret meetings and violations of the Open Public Meetings Act.
The elected officials who censured Hinds prior to the election are Greg Buontempo, Mike Nikolis and Rocco Pascucci.
Among other items, the actions of the three are alleged to be illegal and contrary to the Open Public Meetings Act.
According to the lawsuit, "Resolution 2019-322 purportedly “censures” its Mayor, Plaintiff, Eric Hinds, for alleged conduct which is based on one or more false allegations, misrepresented as findings of fact, including, but not limited to, a false allegation that Plaintiff “violated the Township of Holmdel Ethical Standards” by, inter alia, “diverting public funds” and committed “acts of taxpayer funds misappropriation. Neither Resolution 2019-322 nor any reference of the subject matter therein, was listed on the agenda for the October 22, 2019 meeting of the Holmdel Township Committee despite the Defendant’s public body knowing in advance of the meeting of this subject matter and the intention to adopt it at said meeting."
The action also claims that there were illegal meetings held out of the publics eye, stating that the governing body "held one or more meeting(s) concerning Resolution 2019-322 and/or the subject matter therein in violation of OPMA and/or failed to invite a portion of public body members to a meeting for the purpose of circumventing one or more provisions of OPMA in violation of N.J.S.A. 10:4-11."
There were various other complaints stating the action was unreasonable and arbitrary. It futher states that due process was violated. "Resolution 2019-322 is, inter alia, void, invalid, ultra-vires, unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious, and/or a violation of the OPMA and/or Plaintiff’s Due Process rights afforded under the Constitutions of the State of New Jersey and/or the United States of America." stated the lawsuit
Hinds civil action to the court demands judgment voiding Resolution 2019-322. The next meeting of the Holmdel Township Committee is December meeting on the 10th.