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Random Notes on NJ Government

Former Dunellen Council member cited for ethics violation.

After a two and a half year investigation, a former member of the Dunellen Borough (Middlesex County) Council was tentatively fined $200 by the New Jersey Local Finance Board (LFB) for failing to publicly disclose on his Financial Disclosure Statement (FDS) two parcels of real estate owned by his wife.

In its November 23, 2018 Notice of Violation, the LFB–the chief enforcer of the Local Government Ethics Law (LGEL)–found that then-Councilman Kevin A. Bachorik failed to list two parcels of real estate–one in Dunellen and the other in Toms River owned by his wife Miriam–on his 2015 FDS. 

The LFB determined that Bachorik “failed to properly disclose his wife’s interest in real property . . . in violation of N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.6(a)(5).  The LFB imposed the minimum fine of $100 for each of the two properties he failed to disclose. 

The LFB dismissed the second count of the March 16, 2016 complaint which contended that Bachorik also violated the LGEL by not listing any source of income in excess of $2,000 for either himself or his wife except for the Borough, where the only position he held was Councilman.  The LFB wrote that “the portion of the complaint alleging that [Bachorik] failed to list sources of income, other than the Borough of Dunellen, for 2014 on your 2015 Financial Disclosure Statement was dismissed by the Board as an investigation could not determine specific sources of income [he] and [his] spouse may have had in 2014.”

The LFB also informed Bachorik of his right to contest the fine by requesting an administrative hearing.  The LFB’s final decision will not be issued until after Bachorik, if he chooses to contest the fine, has had his case heard by an Administrative Law Judge.

By law, local government officials can be fined between $100 and $500 for each LGEL violations.  The ethics complaint that resulted in the LFB’s determination was filed by John Paff and the New Jersey Libertarian Party.

By John Paff

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project