Allegations growing for a handful of local and state politicians.
HOLMDEL, NJ - Holmdel is a successful, quiet and beautiful community, nestled in the heart of Monmouth County. It is considered one of the best places to live, work and raise a family. The Holmdel school system is a key driver of its success. The township's open spaces and farmland is a draw for residents and visitors for miles around, particularly during the beautiful fall days of pumpkin picking, hayrides, schools sports and other autumn activities. That is the "Holmdel World" for the majority of families.
For others, not so much. Primarily the local politicians. Specifically, a complaint and request for investigation was recently sent to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission by the Monmouth County Republican Organization (MCRO). The MCRO is led by Monmouth County Sheriff and County Chairman Shaun Golden.
The request for investigation and complaint was filed against Tom Scarano, the current campaign treasurer of Mayor Greg Buontempo and Committeeman Pascucci. Scarano, who hails from Hazlet, has assisted the many election campaigns of Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (her term is up next year), Committeeman Rocco Pascucci (who chose not to run this year), Greg Buontempo, and Mike Nikolis (who lost last year to Chiung-Yin Cheng Liu during the 2019 primary).
The allegation is that Scarano opened a campaign checking account for another elected official, Freeholder Patrick Impreveduto. The complaint indicated that this was done without Impreveduto's knowledge or apparent consent. Additionally, five days later, the complaint states that another campaign account was opened up in the name of 'Holmdel Republican Organization.' Scarano controlled the checking account of both, according to the submitted complaint (offical complaint link is below in the story). The issue, the complaint indicates, is that Freeholder Impreveduto already had a campaign account open. The Monmouth County Republican Organization also took issue with a Hazlet resident representing himself as Chairman of the Holmdel Republican Organization. For Scarano, it is not simply a hobby for local candidates. In April and June, Buontempo's campaign paid him a total of $6,000.00. Buontempo also paid Mike Nikolis $2,000 and according to ELEC, Buontempo still owes Nikolis $2,000 for legal expenses.
You can read the complaint here: Election Law Enforcement Complaint
These new allegations come amidst the backdrop of 2019 illegal voting allegations that are supposed to be decided this month. That lawsuit involves Committeeman Prakash Santhana and candidate Chiung-Yin Cheng Liu. As recently reported in the Asbury Park Press, Assemblywoman DiMaso and Committeeman Pascucci are identified in the lawsuit as having adult non-resident children, using their parent's address to vote - it has been argued that they do not live in Holmdel and were not eligible. Those votes of their adult children (if they were for Independent candidates and not Republicans) could result in the nail-biting election going in favor of Liu. If elected, Liu who would be the first Asian-American woman to serve on the Holmdel Township Committee.
Holmdel is very active this election season for those that partake of it. For the majority of Holmdel, it is more likely that the quiet and bucolic community, nestled in the heart of Monmouth County, will continue to be enjoyed during the beautiful fall days of pumpkin picking, hayrides, schools sports and other family activities of the season.