On November 17, 2014, New Jersey Local Finance Board Chairman Thomas H. Neff issued a Notice of Violation and assessed a $100 fine against the mayor of a small Burlington County borough. According to the Notice of Violation, the borough had made purchases from the mayor’s parents’ business of which he was an employee.

The fine was levied against Wrightstown Mayor Thomas E. Harper and arose out of a November 11, 2011 ethics complaint filed by John Paff and the New Jersey Libertarian Party.  The ethics complaint and Notice of Violation are on-line here and here, respectively.  Paff and the Libertarian Party had complained that Harper had an interest in a local automotive service station named Tom’s Service Center during 2010 when Wrightstown Borough paid the business $11,799.45 for fuel and repair services.

In the cover letter that accompanied the Notice of Violation, available at the link above, Neff put additional questions to Mayor Harper regarding discrepancies in his Financial Disclosure Statement (FDS) forms submitted from 2010 through 2014.  In his letter, Neff instructed Harper to “explain the discrepancies” and “have each FDS referenced herein corrected and resubmitted to the Board for review.”

Paff and the Libertarian Party had previously filed three other ethics charges (here, here and here) against Mayor Harper and his wife, all of which were dismissed.

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