>APP Editorial: County counsel: He’s baaack!

>Today’s editorial in the Asbury Park Press hits the nail on the head. Why on earth would Lillian Burry, Rob Clifton, John Curley or the other guy, ever consent to bringing back Malcom Carton for any type of legal services after he was dismissed from his duties last year?

It seems as though the “good ol’ boys” are back in charge of Monmouth County and they must think residents/voters have forgotten all the nonsense of the past, after regaining control of the Freeholders Board.

Democrat Amy Mallet was the only member of the five-member Monmouth Couny freeholder board who had the good sense to vote against appointing Malcolm Carton — longtime county counsel — to handle the legal work for bail forfeitures for the county.

Mallet said she voted “no” because the resolution appointing Carton “lacked transparency.” Specifically, it said the law firm for which Carton works would provide the special counsel services. No mention was made of Carton. To find that out, the freeholders would have had to read the proposal from the law firm stating Carton would be assigned the work.

But there were much better reasons than that for steering clear of Carton, who was replaced as county counsel in 2009, then appointed as a special counsel in 2010, purportedly to allow him to complete unfinished cases and ease the transition for the new county counsel. All ties with Carton should have been severed then — permanently.

In case the current freeholders forgot, Carton was the last vestige of the good ol’ boy, all-Republican freeholder board that governed the county when corruption ran rampant. In early 2005, a federal corruption sting centered in Monmouth County netted the late Harry Larrison, then-director of the freeholders, and seven other county officials.

As county counsel, the legal fees Carton billed the county were nearly four times higher than what many other counties paid their chief counsel. In 2005, a Press comparison of county counsel fees showed Carton had billed about $400,000 a year since 1997. In 2005, the state’s most populous county — Essex — paid its chief counsel $105,000. Mercer and Bergen counties paid their top counsels about $108,000.

Carton raised tens of thousands of campaign dollars for county Republicans, and his strong party ties posed unhealthy conflicts of interest.

Given Carton’s history, it’s hard to believe that even the four Republican freeholders currently on the board wouldn’t want to turn the page on someone so strongly associated with one of the darkest chapters in the county’s political history.


Filed under Asbury Park Press, county counsel, Freeholder Amy Mallet, Legal bills, legal fees, Malcom Carton, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders

8 responses to “>APP Editorial: County counsel: He’s baaack!

  1. >I was very disappointed to see this. You know, Malcolm Carton (who is in no way affiliated or closely related to Peter Carton by the way) is the Repubilcan Municipal Chair for Tom Arnone's town. Not saying anything, but I thought that Tom would want to stay away from this whole situation / association. Unless Malcolm, somehow, is the best atty in the world and the only one who can do this job well, this was a dumb move. aNON

  2. >aNON,Since you bring it up, I have been told by many that Malcolm Carton is to Peter Carton. Malcolm and Peter are cousins.That may or may not be correct, it's just what I have been told.

  3. >The time has certainly come for every voter in Monmouth County to realize that for our elected officials to constantly repeat the errors of the past and to expect different results…that's the definition of insanity !!!Monmouth County's Republican Freeholders cannot justify the rehiring of Malcom Carton . There are many qualified lawyers that are available at realistic rates and with like expertise.Send those on the dais in Freehold a message and re=elect Amy Mallet and who ever runs with her to the Freeholder Board. Enough of the politically connected crap that still prevails among the incumbent Republicans. This is SICK politics and benefits no citizen of this County. It reeks of partisan politics at it's WORST> You would think they had learned a lesson by now. Instead it's same old…same old !!!

  4. >Malcom Carton is related to Peter Carton….cousins and as for politically connected…smell the coffee…thick as mud!!Tom Arnone is from Neptune and that's not where Malcom Carton lives so M.Carton shouldn't be municipal chair in Neptune.aNon get your facts straight,none of the rest of us are naive.Mike,you are absolutely correct. Know because of a family relationship also.

  5. >According to Ma Bell's book,M. Carton has a telephone on Shell Ave. in Neptune ,so stand corrected if it's his residence. Arnone is from Neptune City.Maybe this explains the current move to hire Carton…just more political patronage probably and will cost the people of Monmouth County plenty if history teaches us anything!Anonymous 10:01 a.m.

  6. >remember, though, that when the Dems had control of the Freeholder board, they made some nice patronage appts too. Patronage doesn't discriminate between parties. The whole system makes me sick!aNON

  7. >Agree with you aNON about the patronage. Politics in general makes almost eveyone sick.Just check the headlines in today's papers and the THRICE married Donald Trump and he's loose tongued attack on the President's honesty about his birthplace. Talk about a flawed candidate,could Trump be any less qualified for the Oval Office?Time all voters paid attention to who and what they vote for. We all have to live with those choices regardless of party politics. Spare us the thoughtless,uneducated vote along party lines. These clowns don't care whose pocket they pick! All they see is the $ signs.

  8. >Republicans and Democrats are marching us off a cliff. We are dumb Americans believeing that the reds or blues care about us. (they exist only to vote against each other and to bicker like children who want the same toy) Unless we send a message to both parties at the voters booth …..doom awaits.

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