Category Archives: The Courier

MoreMonmouthMusings’s Art Gallagher Arrest; Awaiting Extradition To Delaware On Fraud Charges

According to an online article posted on The Asbury Park Press this evening, Art Gallagher, author of the moremonmouthmusings blog, has been arrest on fraud charges and is being held on $250,000 bail while waiting on extradition to Delaware, at the Monmouth County Jail.

From the APP:

HIGHLANDS — A prominent blogger who is running for a seat on the Highlands Borough Council next month is in Monmouth County Jail awaiting extradition to Delaware, police said.

Art Gallagher, who runs a Republican-leaning political blog and is campaigning as an independent for council, was arrested over the weekend by borough police on a fugitive from justice warrant out of Delaware, Chief Joseph Blewitt said.

Details of Gallagher’s alleged crime across state lines are unclear, but Blewitt said the warrant was theft-related. Detective Nicholas Terranova, the lead investigator in the case for Delaware State Police, could not be reached for comment Sunday.

“That’s what it’s stemming from. It’s regarding a fraud investigation Delaware State Police conducted,” Highlands police Sgt. Joe Rogers said.

Gallagher, 53, who is also a member of the borough’s planning board, is being held on $250,000 bail. Blewitt said on Sunday afternoon “they have informed us they will extradite.”

I don’t want to kick a guy while he’s down but sooner or later everyone needs to answer to a higher authority for what they may have reaped in life. I hope that he and his family will able to cope well during this trying time.
Something like this however was bound to happen sooner or later to Art. I heard rumors last year that Art was going to be the subject of a WPIX News segment of “Help Me Howard “.
For those unfamiliar with “Help Me Howard”, it’s a segment on channel 11 news that features longtime newsman Howard Thompson. Thompson helps those who feel they have suffered injustices or have been wronged in someway.
In a segment that was to feature Art Gallagher but never aired because the incident was allegedly settled before airing, Art was accused by someone who had rented a food vending truck from his business. I don’t remember all the details but the person who rented the truck was upset that the truck didn’t work properly and wanted a refund of some kind. Art of course wouldn’t oblige so the individual contacted Howard Thompson.
Also, Art has fancied himself a “King Maker” of sorts ever since he started MoreMonmouthMusings, blogging first anonymously as William Seward, then as himself, after he and others managed to air all sorts of Republican dirty laundry and the “take down” of Monmouth County Chairman Adam Puharic back in 2008 when he resigned from the position and opened the door for current Chairman Joe Oxley.
Art has since often warned Republican wannabes that if they want to get elected to office in Monmouth County or locally that they need to indulge his blogging and submit comments or columns to it.
Art also got himself in a bit of hot water back in 2008 when he tried to rationalize the use of the “N” word after the Reverend Jesse Jackson was caught on an open mike threatening to cut of then presidential candidate Barack Obama’s “N”nuts. Art wanted to know why it was okay for Jesse Jackson, a black man, to use the “N” word but it was unacceptable for a white man to use the term.
After posting this on his blog, then Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, called a special emergency session of the Middletown Human Rights Commission to look into it thinking that his blog posting was actually printed in the Bayshore Courier where Art had at the time wrote a weekly column.
This lead to Art being censored by the local chapter of the NAACP and his column being dropped by the Courier. Afterwards Gallagher started a vendetta against the Middletown Democrats and the Courier’s publisher, blaming them for somehow conspiring against him and having him labeled as a racist.
Since then, Gallagher’s blog has become a the Middletown Republican’s dumping ground for the dirty tricks, mudslinging and slander against Democratic candidates running for office in Middletown.
What will the Middletown Republicans do now? Will they come out and disavow Art Gallagher or will they make excuses for him and their actions.
As I said above, it is easy to kick a guy while he is down. Regardless of Art’s alleged actions in this case or in the past, I do wish him and his family well. We have had a slight adversarial relationship over the past few years but I think we have always been respectful to one another.
I may not always agree with Art or his point of view but that doesn’t mean I wish him any ill will. I wish him a speedy resolve to his problems and a return to his blogging.

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Filed under "N" word, arrested, Art Gallaher, Asbury Park Press, blogging, Delaware, extradition, fraud, help me howard, MoreMonmouthMusings, NAACP, The Courier

Extra Extra Read All About It – The Courier Is Sold To New Owner

Yesterday was a sad day after I read the post on Melissa Gaffney’s blog Sableminded about the April 1st demise of the Courier newspaper.
I have been a fan of the Courier for  a long time, and have been lending this blog to the online version of it for a number of months now. At one point I was considering having MiddletownMike visitors redirected to the Courier version of this blog. I had been hearing for quite awhile that the Courier was in trouble and that it’s future was in question, but I had thought and hope that the paper would somehow survive and live on in some form or another, but due to that uncertainty  the redirect just never seemed to happen.
When the Courier’s publisher Jim Purcell announced that the Courier was only going to publish bi-weekly and that through a partnership with Rutgers University, it was going to attempt to survive on-line as a web based publication, I was at first disheartened.  I became encouraged a few weeks later however when I was told by Jim that it looked like the web based model was going to work out, revenue had already increased over the previous months due to the new venture with Rutgers.
So, when I heard a couple of weeks ago that the Azzolina family had changed their mind and no longer desired to be in the news business it came as a mild shock, if they couldn’t find a buyer they were going to shutdown operations.  I didn’t quite want to believe it, after all the paper seemed to be on track to  profitability once again. Needless to say then, that when I stopped by the office to say hello, it was a rather gloomy place.  
Today though, when I returned home from work and logged onto the blog I noticed  the headline on the Courier widget “The Courier is sold to new owner“, my spirits were lifted.
I don’t know who has brought the Courier or whether or not that they intend to keep the online version up and running, but I am happy that they did. It would have been a real loss to the bayshore if the paper had folded, the Courier after all has been a staple of northern Monmouth County for since 1955. 
As for MiddletownMike’s future with the Courier, I don’t have an answer for that just yet. I need to make a few phone calls to see what the future may hold. I am just glad that the paper did not fade away like so many others have done lately.
I am also happy to think that some of the people at the Courier, who have become my friends, may now not have to worry about losing their jobs and finding employment elsewhere. I hope  

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Filed under Bayshore, blogs, demise of newspapers, Jim Purcell, Joe Azzolina, Melissa Gaffney, Monmouth County, Rutgers University, Sableminded, The Courier, web-based publication

>Legal cost issue should be about capping or in-house counsel

>The following press release from the Middletown Democrats for Twsp. Committee, Patricia Walsh and Jim Grenafege, is in response to the recent articles that appeared in The Courier newpaper last week about the billing practice of Township Attorney Bernard Reilly.

Press Release

Aug. 18, 2008

POC: Democrats for Twsp. Committee
Patricia A. Walsh
Tel: (908) 601-1252/Email: awalsh386@aol.com
Or Jim Grenafege
Tel: (732) 872-0890/Email: j.grenafege@att.net

Legal cost issue should be about capping or in-house counsel

MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP (MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ):I have always been an advocate of in-house counsel at the county level, said Middletown Democrat for Township Committee Jim Grenafege. So it makes sense that I am all for it here in Middletown.

Grenafege’s running mate is Patricia A. Walsh. She said,”The school district caps legal expenses in the context of its annual budget. There is no reason to tolerate excessive legal spending on the municipal level from the numerous attorneys the township now employs.

Walsh said she recently saw a published report where Township Attorney Bernard Reilly is paid for 200-hour months and
15-18 hour days. More scrutiny must be given to each of these individual legal bills”, she said.

However, Walsh said she believes a cap may work out better for the township than an in-house counsel, though she is convinced both hers and Mr. Grenafege’s ideas should be discussed publicly once they are elected to the Township Committee and action taken.

Grenafege said a task force should be immediately formed, in January, with the mission of studying all aspects of legal staffing and activity within the township. “Are there any “best practices” that are utilized by other towns that Middletown can learn from?” Grenafege said. “It’s worth a good look”.

Grenafege said he read the county’s study about this, though he characterized that study as “flawed” because it was prepared by one of the county’s attorneys, who was an outside counsel on the county payroll.

“The days of letting attorneys run the show must come to an end. Our taxpayers are facing tough economic times and their tax money should not be wasted in any way,” Walsh said.”It is fiscally responsible for the committee to completely review what has taken place over the last 20 years, following the excesses of previous administrations.”

Walsh said that previous administrations had closed their eyes to legal bill overruns, but it is not a way the township can do business in this century.

Grenafege said he supports an initiative favored by Middletown Committeeman Sean Byrnes whereby a financial professional would be brought in to examine the possibility of saving dollars and find new, constructive ways to save tax money.

Walsh said this measure is one that should be voted on by the committee. But, she said such an initiative would have to be examined closely before that vote, following recommendations by the task force formed for this purpose.

“There should be different ideas that come together with the underlying purpose of cutting spending and putting permanent fiscal controls in place in Middletown,” Walsh concluded.

You can also read all about the billing practices of Mr. Reilly by reading Melissa Gaffney’s blog SableMinded

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Filed under Bernard Reilly, Jim Grenafege, Legal bills, Melissa Gaffney, Middletown, Middletown Democrats, Patricia Walsh, The Courier

Legal cost issue should be about capping or in-house counsel

The following press release from the Middletown Democrats for Twsp. Committee, Patricia Walsh and Jim Grenafege, is in response to the recent articles that appeared in The Courier newpaper last week about the billing practice of Township Attorney Bernard Reilly.

Press Release

Aug. 18, 2008

POC: Democrats for Twsp. Committee
Patricia A. Walsh
Tel: (908) 601-1252/Email: awalsh386@aol.com
Or Jim Grenafege
Tel: (732) 872-0890/Email: j.grenafege@att.net

Legal cost issue should be about capping or in-house counsel

MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP (MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ):I have always been an advocate of in-house counsel at the county level, said Middletown Democrat for Township Committee Jim Grenafege. So it makes sense that I am all for it here in Middletown.

Grenafege’s running mate is Patricia A. Walsh. She said,”The school district caps legal expenses in the context of its annual budget. There is no reason to tolerate excessive legal spending on the municipal level from the numerous attorneys the township now employs.

Walsh said she recently saw a published report where Township Attorney Bernard Reilly is paid for 200-hour months and
15-18 hour days. More scrutiny must be given to each of these individual legal bills”, she said.

However, Walsh said she believes a cap may work out better for the township than an in-house counsel, though she is convinced both hers and Mr. Grenafege’s ideas should be discussed publicly once they are elected to the Township Committee and action taken.

Grenafege said a task force should be immediately formed, in January, with the mission of studying all aspects of legal staffing and activity within the township. “Are there any “best practices” that are utilized by other towns that Middletown can learn from?” Grenafege said. “It’s worth a good look”.

Grenafege said he read the county’s study about this, though he characterized that study as “flawed” because it was prepared by one of the county’s attorneys, who was an outside counsel on the county payroll.

“The days of letting attorneys run the show must come to an end. Our taxpayers are facing tough economic times and their tax money should not be wasted in any way,” Walsh said.”It is fiscally responsible for the committee to completely review what has taken place over the last 20 years, following the excesses of previous administrations.”

Walsh said that previous administrations had closed their eyes to legal bill overruns, but it is not a way the township can do business in this century.

Grenafege said he supports an initiative favored by Middletown Committeeman Sean Byrnes whereby a financial professional would be brought in to examine the possibility of saving dollars and find new, constructive ways to save tax money.

Walsh said this measure is one that should be voted on by the committee. But, she said such an initiative would have to be examined closely before that vote, following recommendations by the task force formed for this purpose.

“There should be different ideas that come together with the underlying purpose of cutting spending and putting permanent fiscal controls in place in Middletown,” Walsh concluded.

You can also read all about the billing practices of Mr. Reilly by reading Melissa Gaffney’s blog SableMinded

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Filed under Bernard Reilly, Jim Grenafege, Legal bills, Melissa Gaffney, Middletown, Middletown Democrats, Patricia Walsh, The Courier

A word about last nights meeting in Middletown

I was reading Art Gallagher’s  impressions of what transpired last night at the Middletown Township Committee meeting last night and I generally agree with his assessment.

The meeting was very good and it was to seen the six new members of the police department sworn in with there families in attendance. While it was interesting to hear the presentation from the Middletown Health Department and all that they do, I found it a little long.  After all, I was there to see a show and I was getting a bit antsy waiting.
When Art did get up to speak sometime after 10 pm, the Mayor seemed to be waiting for him because he immediately announce that there was going to be a 5 minute time limit on comments. The township clerk then  literally set a time clock that went off after the 5 minutes.  Art then had to rush through his comments to finish.
Art, as he mentioned did not get the great debate that he wanted, largely because no one showed up argue the point with him and because the debate did get sidetracked  over who called for the Middletown Human Rights Commission to meet.
On this point, I have to take exception with  Art Gallagher’s perception on events. While Committeeman Short my have been trying to score political points by blaming Mayor Scharfenberger for the “unnoticed special meeting”, it was Scharfenberger’s denials and the seemingly apparent cover up by the Clerk, Township Administer and Attorney, about asking the commission to meet that lead to that confrontation.
One of the main issues that Committeeman Short takes exception to is “open and transparent government” and Mayor Scharfenberger knows that, so to try and cover up the fact was not the right course of action for him to take.
I was at the hastily called meeting of the MHRC Thursday night, I received the message off my answering machine late that day it.  I am not sure how the person leaving the message found out about the meeting. I arrived late and left after the Commission decided to draft a resolution
against Art Gallagher’s methods.
Now, why have I brought that up? because several times during the special session the Cindy Hoffman of the Human Rights Commission mentioned that the mayor asked her to look into the allegations and to convene a special meeting. When asked if Mayor Scharfenberger knew about the meeting taking place, she said that he was aware of it but she did not know if he would be attending. 
So the only real fireworks that we got last night was the confrontation between Short and Scharfenberger. 
And I really think that the issue for the Township is over, I just don’t see the Human Rights Commission reconvening just to discuss this their resolution against Art and his blog. The meeting was called for after all, as a political ploy by the mayor against the Courier and not because he had concerns over what Art Gallagher wrote on his blog.
You can hear audio clips from the meeting on Melissa Gaffney’s SableMinded blog

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Filed under Art Gallaher, Mayor Scharfenberger, Melissa Gaffney, Middletown Human Rights Commission, MoreMonmouthMusings, Sableminded, The Courier

>A word about last nights meeting in Middletown

>I was reading Art Gallagher’s  impressions of what transpired last night at the Middletown Township Committee meeting last night and I generally agree with his assessment.

The meeting was very good and it was to seen the six new members of the police department sworn in with there families in attendance. While it was interesting to hear the presentation from the Middletown Health Department and all that they do, I found it a little long.  After all, I was there to see a show and I was getting a bit antsy waiting.
When Art did get up to speak sometime after 10 pm, the Mayor seemed to be waiting for him because he immediately announce that there was going to be a 5 minute time limit on comments. The township clerk then  literally set a time clock that went off after the 5 minutes.  Art then had to rush through his comments to finish.
Art, as he mentioned did not get the great debate that he wanted, largely because no one showed up argue the point with him and because the debate did get sidetracked  over who called for the Middletown Human Rights Commission to meet.
On this point, I have to take exception with  Art Gallagher’s perception on events. While Committeeman Short my have been trying to score political points by blaming Mayor Scharfenberger for the “unnoticed special meeting”, it was Scharfenberger’s denials and the seemingly apparent cover up by the Clerk, Township Administer and Attorney, about asking the commission to meet that lead to that confrontation.
One of the main issues that Committeeman Short takes exception to is “open and transparent government” and Mayor Scharfenberger knows that, so to try and cover up the fact was not the right course of action for him to take.
I was at the hastily called meeting of the MHRC Thursday night, I received the message off my answering machine late that day it.  I am not sure how the person leaving the message found out about the meeting. I arrived late and left after the Commission decided to draft a resolution
against Art Gallagher’s methods.
Now, why have I brought that up? because several times during the special session the Cindy Hoffman of the Human Rights Commission mentioned that the mayor asked her to look into the allegations and to convene a special meeting. When asked if Mayor Scharfenberger knew about the meeting taking place, she said that he was aware of it but she did not know if he would be attending. 
So the only real fireworks that we got last night was the confrontation between Short and Scharfenberger. 
And I really think that the issue for the Township is over, I just don’t see the Human Rights Commission reconvening just to discuss this their resolution against Art and his blog. The meeting was called for after all, as a political ploy by the mayor against the Courier and not because he had concerns over what Art Gallagher wrote on his blog.
You can hear audio clips from the meeting on Melissa Gaffney’s SableMinded blog

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Filed under Art Gallaher, Mayor Scharfenberger, Melissa Gaffney, Middletown Human Rights Commission, MoreMonmouthMusings, Sableminded, The Courier

Tony "the fibber" Fiore passing along yet another falsehood

Tony “the fibber” Fiore is at it again. The Republican Candidate for Middletown Township Committee is passing along falsehoods as if they were facts. 

This time out instead of passing a long a puffed up resume’ and miss representing himself as something he is not, he is trying to link his opponents in this years upcoming election to the COAH controversy.
In a recent letter that has been published on the Atlantic Highlands Herald  website, Fiore states that his Democratic opponents for Township Committee back the proposed changes to COAH, which would have a huge negitive impact on Middletown.
This is not true and is yet another attempt by him and the Middletown GOP to try and take the heat way from themselves for totally miss-handling the issue for the past 25 years.
The Middletown Democratic Candidates, Patricia Walsh and Jim Grenafege, have not come out in support of the recent legislation that was passed by the Statehouse  and signed into law by Governor Corzine . They have in fact expressed their concerns over the issue and what the impact will mean to Middletown.
It should be note, that Matt Morehead, the Chairman of the Bayshore Young Democrats, is working alone on this issue. The Middletown Democratic Committee’s position on this issue, as far as I am aware is, that the Republican majority has miss handled the issue and now the Township must work within the guidelines of the law.
Instead of passing along false information Tony, how about addressing your resume’ and the miss information you have passed off as facts? As far as know, Melissa Gaffney and the Courier are still waiting to see documentation to prove your experiences that are on your resume’ are legit and not just fluff. 
How about it Tony, why don’t you just come clean and admit that you are a fraud and be done with. It will save the residents of this community embarrassment later if you just resign from the Planning Board and your candidacy for the Township Committee now instead of after the election. 
  

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Filed under Anthony Fiore, COAH, Matt Morehead, Middletown Democrats, Middletown GOP, Monmouth County Young Democrats, The Courier