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Friday, October 4, 2013

Ethic Complaints Filed Against Mayor Don Purdy; Allegations Involving Purdy's Automotive Company Purdy Collision

Mayor Don Purdy
Two separate complaints have been filed with the New Jersey State Local Finance Board (LFB) by John Paff and the New Jersey Libertarian Party alleging Mayor Don Purdy violated the New Jersey Local Government Ethics Law (LGEL). One complaint involves the Atlantic County Joint Insurance Fund while the second complaint involves Richard Stockton College and Stockton Affiliated Services Inc.

GallowayTwpNews.com was able to confirm the filing of both complaints as well as the allegations listed in the filings. Due to the complexity of each complaint, we are reporting the details of each complaint separately. 

The first complaint alleges a personal business relationship with the Atlantic County Joint Insurance Fund and accepting insurance payment proceeds for private services while Officially conducting business on behalf of Galloway Township with the same company.

On August 13, 2013, representatives of the Atlantic County Joint Insurance Fund attended the Galloway Township Council meeting for a presentation, requesting Council to renew their contract with the ACJIF. Mayor Don Purdy participated in that public discussion. 

Click here for Part One of the Audio for Purdy Discussion:
Click here for Part Two of the Audio for Purdy Discussion:

On August 31, 2013, the first complaint filed by Paff alleged, "Between 2010 and 2013, Purdy Collision, LLC which is, on information and belief, owned and/or controlled by Mayor Don Purdy and/or his family, received insurance claim proceeds paid out by the Atlantic County Joint Insurance Fund. Mayor Purdy was present at the August 13, 2013 closed Galloway Township Council meeting where discussion on "Research on Insurance and the Joint Insurance Fund" took place." 

Paff further alleged, "Mayor Purdy was present at the August 13, 2013 public Galloway Township Council meeting where Resolution 231-13, which was added to the agenda immediately after the closed session terminated, was passed.   Resolution 231-13 renewed Galloway Township's membership in the Atlantic County Joint Insurance Fund.  Purdy voted in favor of having Resolution 231-13 added to the agenda but abstained from the vote pass that resolution."

Paff inserted in his complaint to the LFB, "Frankly, given the Board's dismissals in LFB-11-147 and LFB-11-149 (Harper) compared to its decision to levy a $500 fine in LFB-12-012 (Costa), it is difficult for me to interpret which actions do and do not violate the LGEL.  Accordingly, when I perceive a possible violation, as I do here, I will bring it in the form of a complaint in hopes that the Board, when issuing its decision, will help clarify the LGEL's contours." 


Paff further stated in his complaint to the LFB, "I assert that there was a violation of the LGEL when Mayor Purdy participated in a closed session discussion about renewing a contract with an insurer that did and does business with a company Mayor Purdy owns or controls.  If the Local Finance Board excuses this conduct, it will establish a precedent that it is permissible for a local government officer to discuss (and perhaps even advocate for) a governmental contract with a vendor with which the official does business provided that the officer formally abstains from the vote that approves the contract."


Through investigations, GallowayTwpNews.com was able to verify and confirm, o
n September 6, 2013, Township Clerk TC Kay confirmed to GallowayTwpNews.com that Purdy abstained from the vote on August 13, 2013 because of a conflict between Mayor Don Purdy and the ACJIF. Kay confirmed Purdy's privately owned business receives money from the Atlantic County Joint Insurance Fund for various services. Purdy verified same with Township Solicitor Michael Fitzgerald only moments before the vote was to occur, as Purdy was told by Fitzgerald, he should have abstained. 

GallowayTwpNews.com submitted an Open Public Records Request to the Atlantic County Joint Insurance Fund (JIF), requesting all payments made to Purdy and/or his family and private businesses. The JIF released a Vendor History showing payments made to Purdy Collision from 2010 - 2013. The payments were made based on the business Purdy conducted with two municipalities, Ocean City and Egg Harbor Township. 


Over the four years, Purdy collected a total of $79,408.53 from the Atlantic County Joint Insurance Fund. In 2010 Purdy made $20,624.00, in 2011 Purdy made $11,487.43, in 2012 Purdy made $39,855.95 and so far in 2013 Purdy has made $7,441.15. 


GallowayTwpNews.com also obtained through OPRA (see below), the 2012 Agreement for "Risk Management Consultant" with the ACJIF and the Township of Galloway that Mayor Don Purdy not only voted for, but also executed the agreement on behalf of Galloway Township on January 31, 2012. Purdy in 2012 was accepting money from the ACJIF for his personal business of Purdy Collision. 


In 2013, the agreement which sparked this Ethics Complaint, was signed by Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola because of Purdy's admission to a conflict with the ACJIF. 

On December 13, 2011, during the same time Purdy was receiving money from the ACJIF, Purdy signed another contract on behalf of Galloway Township with the ACJIF for the 2012 Retrospective Program (see below). Purdy in 2011 was accepting money from the Atlantic County Joint Insurance Fund being paid to his private business of Purdy Collision. 


John Paff stated to GallowayTwpNews.com that he wasn't being accusatory towards Purdy, but rather his position is that "the ethics rules are vague and the ethics decisions are often contradictory and this confusion makes it difficult for government officials to know where the line is between unethical and permissible conduct and that the only way I know of to clarify and brighten that line is through filing of complaints.  In sum, this isn't a vendetta against Purdy but rather an attempt to obtain a better understanding of the contours of the ethics law."


Atlantic County Joint Insurance fund did not return our request for comment. GallowayTwpNews.com also submitted a request for comment to Mayor Don Purdy, which has not been returned by time of publication. 

GallowayTwpNew.com Publisher spoke with members of the Local Finance Board on October 2, 2013, as the Publisher was listed by the complainant as a Fact Witness regarding this complaint due to our former relationship with the Township of Galloway as an employee with pertinent information and investigative findings. 

GallowayTwpNews.com will report the further facts and outcome of the case, as we obtain that information and permitted to be released. 

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yea thats a violation to me.

Anonymous said...

Did you throw enuf proof out there. Was it worth it Don?

Anonymous said...

This is a fairly written story in my opinion. However also in my opinion its a conflict of interest for a witness who also owns a news website to report on the very incident they may be called to testify in. Now this comment does not violate the comment policy regardless I doubt it will be published.

Anonymous said...

The only conflict I see is that of the Mayor. I read this story three times just to see if maybe there was a twist of vendetta written but I have to say it is written in a straight forward manner. Well done. Based on evidence presented here I would determine there was a conflict. For the Mayor to decide in an election year he sees the light of a conflict, in my opinion, is bad timing and bad taste to the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Purdy is not a crook. He has simply exhibited bad judgment. But, it is his consistent bad judgment, his reliance on bad advice and his inability "to see the whole picture" that had brought Galloway (and him) all of its woes. It is time for a change. Let's elect new people and pray that the replacements exhibit better judgment.

Anonymous said...

Whether new or not all those officials need a lesson in Ethics.

Anonymous said...

Don needs a lesson in Ethics and Jim needs a lesson is parking. Maybe Don can tow Jim's car, but that may also be a violation. Galloway just needs a new facelift from top to bottom. The whole down has gone downhill over the past couple years and Don can't bring it back, not sure anyone can.

Anonymous said...

We need new politicians, we need to get rid of the carpetbagger administration - Arch the magnificent and TC Kay, the money grubber and the lawyer to the mob, Ed.

Anonymous said...

If reporters aren't allowed to testify on what they report than I guess some websites should stop reporting on complaints they file and testify on. Makes no sense. I would like to know how much money a ex-democrat turned republican for the willy campaign gave to the republicans. Filtering democrat money to the republicans should be a violation too.

Anonymous said...

Well written article again with all the proof attached. Unless a audio expert is going to say that is not Don's voice on the recording, I think this article is 100% accurate. There is no gray area here, it's a conflict. At some point Don needs to step forward and own what he has done. To ignore it won't make it go away.

Anonymous said...

As much as I like reading the stories on this site, I am getting tired of reading the constant exposure of misconduct and nothing being done to this Official. Several complaints against his Towing company yet no discipline can be done because he is the Mayor. Ship everything to the State or the Prosecutors Office already. Start reporting when this guy gets charged, not when he keeps violating the law. There's not enough ink to print for all those violations.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't he been charged with any crimes yet? Has this stuff been turned over to be investigated ,he needs to be charged somer than later.

Anonymous said...

How many of Purdy's "political bed buddies" are still around to protect him.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Lisa Tilton cooperating with authorities and telling all about this guy. We all knew it was going to happen, it just was when. I applaud her bravery for standing up for what is right.

Publisher said...

**Audio files have been fixed and reloaded.

Anonymous said...

A conflict of interest now exists between Purdy and Tilton. I see it coming where Purdy will be stepping down on all dealings with Tilton. Purdy opened his mouth to much again! Donnie should have kept his feelings to himself. Now that 2 part conflict of interest exists. I guess having the Township hire your private attorney wasn't the brightest idea.

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