Inside Ocean County Government

Ocean County, Opinion

5 Reasons Jack Kelly Doesn’t Deserve His New Patronage Gig

Jack Kelly

Any way you slice it, Freeholder Jack Kelly is woefully unqualified in every way imaginable to decide whether or not convicted prisoners are worthy of parole by “serving” on the state parole board.

Here’s why Freeloader Freeholder Kelly doesn’t deserve that cushy new political appointment:

Jack Kelly, Ocean County Freeholder and serial nepotist. Photo by Daniel - - Brick ShoreBeat

Ocean County “Freeholder Director” John P. “Jack” Kelly, a veteran parasite of the public coffers. Photo courtesy of Daniel Nee / Brick Shorebeat

An OCP Editorial Report

1. It’s A Bad Example For Future Generations

Jack Kelly has no background in law enforcement, nor does he even have a college degree, and Governor Chris Christie wants to entrust him with deciding whether or not convicted state prisoners are worthy of getting released early.

What type of message will this send to future generations?

This one:

“Yes, you too can have no college degree, no qualifications and make six figures off the backs of taxpayers while padding your pension at your part-time public job, as long as you have the right political connections.”

At least they didn’t name a building at OCC after this guy…

2. Kelly’s Appointment A Danger To Public Safety 

In nominating Freeholder Kelly to the parole board, Governor Christie – who continually touted his experience as a federal prosecutor in his failed presidential campaign – has shown that he is willing to place political payoffs above public safety, which the parole board is supposed to ensure.

This week, much of southern Ocean County was thrown into a tizzy over an escaped prisoner believed to be marauding through Barnegat. Arthur Buckel, the escapee and convicted murderer, was going to be up for parole in just three weeks.

Would you trust Freeholder Kelly with deciding whether or not someone like that goes free? That’s the type of power he would be given if confirmed to the state parole board, along with a salary in excess of $100,000 per year.

In another instance that has left some questioning Kelly’s judgement, the freeholder’s SUV struck and killed a motorcyclist on a stretch of Route 9 near the Kelly family business in West Creek. While he wasn’t charged or ticketed for his role in the crash, Freeholder Kelly faced a 540 day driver’s license suspension, but was represented by none other than Thomas Monahan, George Gilmore’s partner, in the administrative hearing surrounding the suspension. Mr. Monahan got Kelly’s license suspension tossed, and a civil suit against Kelly filed on behalf of the victim’s family was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

3. He Has Already Raided The Public Coffers

Over the years, Jack Kelly has received multiple useless patronage positions, as taxpayer around the county continue to wince in pain at the sight of their property tax bills.

In 1999 he was given the title of “airport analyst,” a high paying position at the Atlantic City International Airport. The job called for 5 years of aviation experience and a bachelors degree, but the good freeholder had neither.

The South Jersey Transportation Authority, which runs the airport, recently awarded a legal services contract to the law firm of tax-delinquent Ocean County GOP boss George Gilmore. Politically appointed SJTA commissioners under Governor Christie include Toms River councilman Maurice “Mo” Hill, among other familiar faces in Ocean County politics.

Both before and after that gig, Kelly had several public jobs, most of which he wasn’t qualified for, but GOP leadership recognized him as “politically reliable,” so he stayed on.

The parole board gig will simply be the latest in a long line of handouts given to Mr. Kelly, courtesy of the taxpayers.

4. Kelly Is A Nepotism Champ

During his tenure as a county freeholder, Jack Kelly’s actions have been a masterclass in nepotism. Jack secured his daughter, Dawn Marie Kelly, a patronage position in the Little Egg Harbor municipal government. Ms. Kelly rewarded LEHT taxpayers by embezzling $40,000 worth of cash used to pay property taxes while employed in the tax collector’s office.

While we can’t hold Mr. Kelly accountable for the actions of his daughter (although she was living under the same roof as him at the time the thievery occurred), we can hold him accountable for using his influence to get her the job in the first place.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office – headed up by GOP lawyer Joseph Coronato – couldn’t prosecute the case due to conflicts of interest, so they had to hand it to the state attorney general’s office.

In another embarrassing incident, Jack Kelly took it upon himself to create a bogus new position in the county corrections department, for a family member. Without even disclosing to his fellow freeholders just who they were hiring, Kelly pushed through the hiring of relative Michael Fromosky to the new position in the county corrections department.

Mr. Fromosky, a retired state trooper, is married to the freeholder’s step niece, Deborah Kelly Fromosky.

After pushback from unions representing county corrections officers, and widespread media outrage, the hiring was reversed.

Kelly relative Fromosky

Kelly relative Fromosky

But Mr. Fromosky still landed on his feet, returning to a public job in Little Egg Harbor. His LinkedIn profile shows that he is currently employed as the township’s “director of community development.”

5. It’s Hypocrisy

Both national and local political bosses aligned with the Ocean County Republican organization continually decry “big government” in stump speeches, and tend to paint the national policy debate as being a dichotomy between the free market and socialism.

But we implore those same Republicans to at least be consistent – if you’re going to oppose big government and socialism – then start right here with all of the friends and family members of the political establishment that fill the halls of municipal, county, and state government with unnecessary crony hires.

Whether or not you support it, we already have socialism right here in Ocean County, but it’s just for those with the right political connections.

Freeholder Jack Kelly Named One Of Ocean County’s “Worst” Public Officials


If there is one person who is emblematic of all of the problems associated with one party rule in Ocean County, you’d be hard pressed to find a better example than Freeholder Kelly, making him a natural pick for the “Top 10” list, having received the highest number of nominations from OCP readers during the month of April.

Members of the state senate’s judiciary committee would do well to block him once again from receiving this 100% unearned, worthless political handout.

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