The company of Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini, who is also a member of the township’s land use board, paid building application fees for a local developer who appeared before that same board, checks obtained by Ocean County Politics revealed.
More Questions Arise From Mayor Mancini’s Land Deals
Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini is a man that wears many hats. In addition having business interests that range from construction & development to real estate, the mayor of Long Beach Township also sits on the township’s land joint use board, which handles both development applications and zoning variances for the municipality.
An LBI whistleblower provided a copy of a 2013 check and other documentation to Ocean County Politics that revealed the mayor submitted checks to the township drawn on his company account, Mancini Custom Homes Inc., and that the checks covered building application fees, among other expenses, for developer Mark Davies and an application he had before the land use board.
The developer who had building application fees paid for by Mayor Mancini, Mark Davies, was also the driving force behind a controversial project involving wetlands, which faced opposition from residents & environmentalists, in the Holgate section of Long Beach Township.
A search of the Ocean County Clerk’s office public records system revealed that Mancini and Davies have been involved in multiple real estate transactions within Ocean County and Long Beach Township over the years.
A source with firsthand knowledge of the check situation said that at one point, an employee in town hall raised questions about the propriety of the checks and eventually ended up quitting, presumably due to tensions resulting from the incident.
“He is using other builders to front for him so there is the appearance of no conflict,” the source who provided the check said.
Mancini, son of the late former Ocean County Freeholder James Mancini and brother of former Stafford Councilman Henry Mancini, was reelected earlier this month in a contentious race along with fellow incumbents Joseph Lattanzi and Ralph Bayard. The three defeated challengers Don Myers, Tom Beaty and Danielle Hagler in a hotly contested race.
Mayor Mancini’s current and past land deals have been no stranger to public scrutiny. In October of 2014, Mancini was on the front cover of the Asbury Park Press after the paper reported that Mancini owned 14 lots of land worth over $1.7 million, but paid just $78 in taxes on the property at the time.