Inside Ocean County Government

Pay-to-play, Seaside Heights

George Gilmore’s Special Arrangement With Seaside Heights

Is George Gilmore a borough employee or a contracted professional? In Seaside Heights, he’s both.

According to Gilmore’s 2016 contract with Seaside Heights, obtained in response to an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request, of the $160,000 flat rate that is charged to the borough for legal services, the contract stipulates that Gilmore himself is personally paid $84,000 of that sum, while his firm receives $76,000 per year in 12-month installments.

In addition to the contract, borough officials provided a spreadsheet of municipal employees, which included Gilmore on the list in response to the public records request.

A municipal finance expert from outside of Ocean County reached by OCP told us that while this arrangement is uncommon, Gilmore is not the only one to have such an arrangement. Other Ocean County professionals have been known to receive similar deals elsewhere, but not on a routine basis.

At this time, we have no evidence that suggests there is anything improper about this arrangement, only that it stands out in the sense that it is different from the contracts his firm executes with other Ocean County municipalities, as elsewhere his firm typically bills by the hour and all payments are made to the law firm, not Gilmore personally.

With that being said, the fact that Gilmore’s tax situation is a major component of the ongoing federal investigation, the fact that he is being paid personally could certainly be something that federal investigators are taking a look at in determining whether or not his tax liabilities have been satisfied.

See the contract:

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