State Probes Belmar’s Sandy Cleanup Contract

BELMAR, N.J. (AP) -

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office is investigating the awarding of a no-bid contract for Superstorm Sandy cleanup to a company with ties to the wife of Belmar’s mayor.

A Republican town council member is questioning whether Democratic Mayor Matthew Doherty violated state ethics laws. His complaint is being reviewed by the Statewide Sandy Fraud Working Group.

Doherty calls the complaint baseless.

His wife, Maggie Moran, helped market Florida-based AshBritt Inc. to government officials around the state.

After getting a state debris removal contract, AshBritt hired a construction firm which in turn hired Moran to develop a marketing campaign. Belmar was one of a number of towns to award AshBritt a no-bid contract.

Doherty told The Star-Ledger in a story Sunday that he had recused himself from any AshBritt-related votes.