Inside Ocean County Government

Little Egg Harbor

Police Chief’s Leaked Email Implicates Fromosky, Kehm in “Reign of Witness Tampering Terror”

Fromosky

Can things get any more dysfunctional in Little Egg Harbor? A leaked email obtained by Ocean County Politics has shed some more light on the situation that has been unfolding in the township. In the email, LEHT Police Chief Richard Buzby pleaded with Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato about allegations of retribution and witness tampering on the part of township officials as a result of Buzby’s investigations into misconduct in the township.

Beginning with the township’s reorganization meeting in 2016, the sleepy southern Ocean County township of Little Egg Harbor has become ground zero for allegations of official misconduct and public corruption on the part of the township’s elected officials and political leaders.

In just a few months, we have learned the following about recent events that have transpired in Little Egg Harbor:

The latest chapter in the tangled web of Little Egg Harbor comes from emails and documents being made public today as a part of this story.

Police Chief Buzby Says He Has Provided Information To The Feds

Chief Buzby

Chief Buzby

Prosecutor Coronato

Prosecutor Coronato

In his email to Prosecutor Coronato, Little Egg Harbor Police Chief Richard Buzby first advised him of the sexual harassment complaint filed against Fromosky, a story we’ve previously reported on right here.

Chief Buzby, despite no evidence supporting the comments made by Fromosky, was required to notify Coronato’s office of the allegations so that the OCPO could investigate them as required by law. But the chief indicated his cooperation with federal authorities may prove to be a conflict of interest, as one of Buzby’s topics of discussion with the unidentified federal authorities was the operations of a unit within the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

“If the fact that I was required to provide information to Federal authorities about administration of your SIU presents a conflict in that regards, as would appear to be the case, I would certainly understand it if the matter be transferred elsewhere,” Buzby wrote in the March 15th, 2016 email to Coronato.

Buzby’s message to Coronato did not specify which federal authorities he provided information to, but Ocean County Politics has confirmed through state law enforcement sources that the FBI has renewed their interest in Little Egg Harbor’s happenings, in light of recent disclosures.

Committeeman John Kehm Seen Driving Past Police Chief’s House, Code Enforcement Officer Mike Fromosky Not Far Behind

Committeeman Kehm

Committeeman Kehm

Michael Fromosky

Michael Fromosky

Continuing in his plea to Prosecutor Coronato, Chief Buzby further alleged that he has continued to face retribution from Gormley, Kehm & Fromosky, presumably for his role in policing alleged criminal activity involving the township’s elected and appointed officials.

“You should also be aware that around midday on February 29, 2016 my son observed Committeeman Kehm slow down in front of my farm, apparently peering in to my property for reasons unknown to us,” Buzby wrote in a March, 2016 email.

Shortly after the visit from Kehm – who along with Committeeman Ray Gormley – led the unsuccessful attempt at removing both Chief Buzby and Administrator Garrett Loesch – Code Enforcement Officer Trainee Michael Fromosky came knocking.

“I reported this fact to Mr. Loesch by email that evening,” the chief added. “The next morning Loesch responded that Fromosky had issued a notice of violation to Dep. Mayor Schlick, whose home you will recall burned down late last year. That property is just down the road from my farm. Just after 1pm that day I was putting out my trash when I observed Fromosky driving slowly by my farm looking in. He said that Schlick had complained about my trailers (3x). I asked him what about my trailers (2x) to which he did not respond, only repeating that Schlick complained as he abruptly drove away. I called Garrett immediately to ask if Schlick or anyone had complained. He checked and said that no complaints had been received.”

Police Chief Alleges “Selective Enforcement” From Fromosky

Chief Buzby noted in his email that violations of the Little Egg Harbor township property code regarding trailers  were widespread – but apparently no enforcement action was being taken by Fromosky.

“One can not leave the Schlick property without observing what he would call a trailer violation with no action by Fromosky on an adjacent property,” Buzby wrote of the property that Deputy Mayor Schlick actually complained about.

The police chief even provided an example to Coronato of another situation, in which a friend of Fromosky was not cited for what Buzby believed to be a clear violation.

“The property to which Schlick refers had no less than 12 trailers in easy plain view. No action until Schlick mentioned it specifically. There is, in fact, another property but a short distance down the same street owned by a close friend of Fromosky with multiple unregistered SEMI trailers and other things that he would call a violation on my property but apparently not there.”

The chief added that previous email chains supported his contention that Fromosky already knew that Buzby’s farm was granted planning board approval for its current use, suggesting retaliation may be a motivating factor in the code enforcement officer’s alleged selective enforcement of the township property codes.

“One could, in fact, but drive around the township for a short whlle and observe what I would bet are hundreds of these type violations with no action by Fromosky. Where does he show up when he feels he has an excuse, my farm, which admitted in the email he knew previously was the subject of an approved non-conformity.”

Was It Retaliation For Loss Of Invented Jail Job?

Chief Buzby’s email alleged that Mr. Fromosky has continued to remain bitter over losing out on the position created for him by his relative, Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly, with Buzby inferring that the action taken against him by Fromosky may have had retaliatory motives. The jail position was derailed after cries of nepotism from the union that represents rank-and-file corrections officers, as the job was not advertised to anybody else before it was given to Fromosky, a member of Freeholder Kelly’s extended family. After losing out on the jail position, Fromosky returned again to the employment of Little Egg Harbor.

“There is no record of any subsequent complaint so the reason Fromosky opened this closed file months later is completely unknown to me, other than the fact he was simultaneously complaining that Sheriff Mastronardy and I had gotten him fired from the county appointment at around the same time,” Buzby wrote to Coronato.

“He [Fromosky] has since repeated this several times, filed a completely false complaint against Garrett and I with the AG (which he forwarded to Kehm and entitled “done”), accusing me, among other things of mishandling the Infamous Kelly case. He told my police mechanic (falsely) that l had cited him for information (“thrown him under the bus” to be more exact) in the Kehm Referral letter to you of last March (I had previously forwarded that) has told several members of my department that I was, in effect, incompetent and would be fired.”

“False Signature Pages” On Resolution Hiring Atlantic County GOP Boss’s Law Firm

The final point of discussion in Buzby’s email was an allegation to Coronato that the resolution passed by the Little Egg Harbor Township Committee hiring the Nehmad, Perillo & Davis law firm to investigate both him and Administrator Loesch had false signature pages – and that nothing happened after Buzby reported it.

“You will also recall that this resolution was processed with a false signature pages, which I previously reported and which was never corrected. It appears from Kehm’s statement (and subsequent billing records) that, even though Kehm and Gormley lost the AA [Appropriate Authority] role on January 1, they have continued to use this firm to conduct an investigalion on me for as yet unknown matters. It also appears they are prepared to attempt some action based on this investigation that only you have the authority to conduct and have used this veiled methodology to camouflage that fact until now.”

After spending thousands of dollars on the investigation, the township’s elected officials ultimately voted to clear Buzby and Loesch of any wrongdoing in connection with the reports prepared by lawyer Sal Perillo.

Buzby said that even with Democrats Gene Kobryn, Dave Schlick and Lisa Stevens taking a majority on the township’s governing body, the retaliation has continued from Republicans John Kehm & Ray Gormley.

“I assumed since Gormley and Kehm were not made mayor, nor AA, that things might have been corrected as a matter of course,” Buzby wrote. “Unfortunately, that has not been the case. This reign of witness tampering terror continues. Something needs to done about this. because now it is seriously effecting [sic] my other employees and has adversely effected [sic] our ability to do our jobs.”

The Little Egg Harbor Township Committee will meet again Thursday night, where this, along with other allegations are expected to be an issue.

See the full email:

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