On December 2, 2013, the Local Finance Board (LFB) dismissed an ethics complaint against a former member of the Winslow Township (Camden County) Board of Health because the official moved to Georgia and did not respond to the LFB’s letter sent to what the Post Office reports as his forwarding address.

In its dismissal letter to Daniel Wilkinson (Complaint No. LFB-11-053), on-line here, the LFB found that Wilkinson, who had resigned from the Board of Health on January 12, 2012, “failed to file a 2011 Annual Financial Disclosure Statement . . . in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Ethics Law.”  While the LFB found that Wilkinson’s resignation “did not in and of itself absolve [Wilkinson] of the duty to file the financial disclosure statement for 2011,” it ultimately closed the complaint because he “no longer resides in the State and attempts to contact [him] in both New Jersey and Georgia were unsuccessful.”  It is not clear from the LFB’s determination letter whether the Georgia address that the Post Office listed as Wilkinson’s forwarding address was invalid or whether Wilkinson received the LFB’s correspondence at his Georgia address but simply neglected to respond. 

Apparently, local government officials who violate the ethics law may be able to escape liability by moving and not responding the LFB’s letters sent to the forwarding address furnished by the Post Office.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]