April 19, 2014
Wayne D. Pelura, Committeeman
Township of Carneys Point
Dear Committeeman Pelura:
I note from your 2013 Financial Disclosure Statement (on-line here) that you listed no source of income for either you or your wife Patricia. Given that your home on Johnson Avenue is assessed at $290,800 and has taxes levied against in in the amount of $7,287.45 (property detail sheet on-line here), it seems very unlikely that neither you nor your wife have a source of income greater than $2,000.
The entire point of the Financial Disclosure Statement filing is to help citizens learn whether public officials have conflicts of interest. Suppose for example, the Township Committee was considering whether to award a contract to a company that employed your wife Patricia. Clearly, it would be violation of the Local Government Ethics Law (LGEL) for you to vote on or participate in the discussion regarding that contract. Yet, absent your wife’s employer being listed as a source of income on your Financial Disclosure Form, a member of the public (unless he or she knew or was familiar with you and your family) would likely not be aware that you would be conflicted from voting on that contract. Thus, when public officials decline or refuse to identify the sources of income for them and their family members, they are frustrating citizens’ ability to detect violations of the LGEL.
Normally, I would have simply filed a complaint against you with the Local Finance Board (LFB). I am thinking, however, that it would be more productive (and less of a burden to the LFB) to simply ask you to file a compliant FDS with the LFB in the next week or so.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Very truly yours,
John Paff, Chairman
New Jersey Libertarian Party’s
Open Government Advocacy Project
P.O. Box 5424
Somerset, NJ 08875