Counterclaim: Closed Door Meeting Held at Gilmore Offices to Arrange Fromosky Rehiring in LEH, Kelly In-Law Demanded 50% Raise

LITTLE EGG HARBOR – Police Chief Richard Buzby has fired back at township code enforcement officer Michael Fromosky, the controversial in-law of Freeholder Jack Kelly who earlier this year filed a lawsuit against Buzby, along with the Township of Little Egg Harbor and other named township officials. Buzby hit back by retaining outside counsel and filing an 8-count counterclaim in response to Fromosky’s complaint from earlier this year.



Police Chief Richard Buzby has lawyered up, and is being represented by attorney Robert Baxter (who is married to an Ocean County judge), who was appointed by the county Joint Insurance Fund (JIF) to defend Buzby against Fromosky’s lawsuit, as well as Toms River attorney John Novak, who is an elected official in Barnegat. Novak is representing Buzby on his third party complaint and counterclaim, filed in response to the Fromosky litigation.

The 40-page answer, counterclaim and third party complaint filed on behalf of Buzby makes new allegations against Fromosky, along with GOP Committeemen John Kehm and Ray Gormley. Buzby’s counterclaim is also shedding some light on the tangled web of players behind Ocean County’s levers of political power, and how they play a role in doling out patronage jobs in municipal government.

Citing numerous incidents, attorneys for Chief Buzby have argued in court papers that the police chief faced retaliation from Fromosky, who was allegedly motivated by a belief that Buzby played a role in seeing him fail to obtain a position at the Ocean County Jail, despite the help Fromosky received from his in-law, Freeholder John P. “Jack” Kelly. In addition to formally denying allegations made against him in Fromosky’s lawsuit, Buzby’s counterclaim includes counts against Fromosky, Gormley, Kehm and the Township of Little Egg Harbor for, among other things, slander, malicious abuse of process, gross negligence and alleged violations of the New Jersey Civil Rights Act and Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA).

Novak: Fromosky Undermined Buzby’s Authority, Created “Atmosphere Of Dysfunction”

Beginning in 2012, Fromosky “commenced to engage in a pattern and practice of undermining the authority, decision and rights of the Chief of Police, Richard Buzby, by tortiously interfering with the police operations designed to contrive an atmosphere of dysfunction,” Novak wrote in court documents, in which he provided a narrative that detailed years of issues between Buzby and Fromosky.

Attorney Novak

Novak added that the dysfunction – allegedly caused by Fromosky –  resulted in officers of the department becoming “antagonistic” to the chief of police, citing comments made by Fromosky to other employees and numerous grievances filed by the parties in the course of their employment with the township.

Novak’s counterclaim alleges that Fromosky, Kehm and Gormley conspired to have both Loesch and Buzby removed from their positions as result of the two blowing the whistle on illegal activity, and the fact that the outside counsel hired by the township to investigate allegations against the two concluded that a cell phone reimbursement given to Buzby was proper.

Fromosky Sought 50% Salary Increase From Little Egg Harbor After Jail Job Derailed 

Another previously undisclosed piece of information contained in court documents filed in the case revealed an apparent effort by Fromosky to secure a pay raise In March of 2015, Fromosky is alleged to have approached township administrator Garrett Loesch about returning to work as an assistant business administrator, but Fromosky demanded an increase in salary of “…more than 50% higher than when he tendered his resignation a mere few weeks earlier.”

Fromosky, court documents filed by attorney John Novak allege, demanded a salary of $90,000 per year from Loesch and the township committee, a significant jump from the nearly $57,000 in pay he took home the previous year.

When Fromosky was first hired as an assistant business administrator for the township in 2012, his salary was $43,000 per year, according to court documents. “During the course of his employment with LEHT, Fromosky’s salary was supplemented with additional stipends of $5,000 and of $7,500 and with annual contractual increases,” the counterclaim read.

Little Egg Officials Held 2015 Meeting At Gilmore Offices To Arrange Rehiring Of Fromosky Behind Closed Doors

The counterclaim also alleges that it took a little political grease from none other than George Gilmore – the principal of the law firm hired to provide legal representation to the township – to ensure that Fromosky was hired back to his previous position after missing out on an Ocean County patronage job.

George Gilmore

“On or about April 8, 2015, the Committee met at the offices of George Gilmore to arrange the re-hiring of Fromosky as an employee of Little Egg Harbor Township as a Code Enforcement Officer with an annual salary of $55,000,” Novak wrote in court papers.

Shortly after the closed-door meeting at Gilmore’s office, Fromosky took the code enforcement job after receiving an offer of employment from the township.

Gilmore: Gormley and Kehm “Were Looking To Get Even”

In support of the counterclaim’s allegations of retaliation, Novak wrote that in August of 2015, Buzby made the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office aware that George Gilmore said to then-committeeman Arthur Midgley and Loesch while in another meeting at the Gilmore law offices that Gormley and Kehm managed to obtain a copy of Buzby’s letter to the prosecutor’s office detailing allegations against the two from March of that year. During the meeting, Gilmore said that the two elected officials “were looking to get even,” according to the counterclaim.

Gilmore, for his part, has continued to draw scrutiny from both the FBI and IRS throughout 2017 as he remains under criminal investigation, with a flurry of subpoenas served on individuals connected to the influential county Republican chairman.

Loesch: Kehm Collected FEMA Rental Assistance While Living At Same Property He Said He Was Displaced From

Garrett Loesch

John Kehm

More retaliation came from Kehm after Loesch reported him to the police department for allegedly collecting rental assistance he wasn’t entitled to, according to Novak’s account of the events.

In May of 2014, Loesch notified the township police department that “…he believed Kehm may have been improperly collecting FEMA rental assistance while remaining in the same home he claimed to be displaced from,” according to the counterclaim.

Attorney: Gormley Told Kehm He Was Target Of Investigation

Kehm was subsequently informed of the probe by his running mate, Ray Gormley, according to the counterclaim.

“Following Loesch’s report, Police Chief Buzby discussed the allegation with Raymond Gormley who, therefater, inappropriately, illegally and unlawfully discussed to Kehm that he was the target of any investigation.”

Ray Gormley

Novak claimed in court filings that once Kehm became aware that he was being investigated, he began retaliation  against Loesch, Buzby and then-DPW superintendent Patrick Donnelly.

“As a result of the disclosure by Gormley to Kehm that Kehm was the target of an investigation, Kehm commenced to engage in retaliatory conduct against Loesch, Buzby and Superintendent Donnelly in violation of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act.”

The counterclaim exhaustively lists statements made by Fromosky that were purportedly slanderous, as well as actions alleged to have been taken by Gormley, Kehm and Fromosky as a part of a conspiracy to remove him from his position and deprive him of due process in connection with grievances and other incidents described in court documents.

Gavin Rozzi

Gavin Rozzi is the editor of Ocean County Politics and a lifelong Ocean County resident, residing in Lacey Township. Gavin's work centers on the intersection of money and politics in Ocean County, with a focus on public corruption. In 2017 he created New Jersey's first statewide freedom of information portal, He can be reached via email at or via phone at (732)-504-3636 ext. 1 or on encrypted phone / text app Signal.

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41 Responses

  1. Ken Bank says:

    These characters make the Rabbis in Lakewood look like amateurs. Kudos to John Novak, perhaps the only independent Republican in Ocean County, for exposing these crooks.

    • outtahere says:

      Thank Gavin for making it public and getting it out from under the table. Excellent job Gavin.

    • Mac says:

      Laughing, laughing, laughing. The only reason Novak is an independent ‘Republican’ is due to his jealousy over Gilmore being both fonder of, and much more personally in touch with McCabe’s style of community service abilities than Novak’s. There is definitely nothing that Appleby has accomplished that McCabe isn’t dedicated to doing better. And I have to admit that originally I was surprised by that development. I honestly have never seen any differences in McCabe’s and Novak’s numerous public service displays of their true, albeit limited, abilities. I personally like Buzby, so I hope he soon realizes Novak is nothing more than an unproductive overpriced kneepad who is more of a serious liability in a political situation than a quality inspiration of hope.

      • Don the Con says:

        Don’t forget the free benefits he receives from the tax payers of da ghetto aka Barnegat
        I thought Republicons were for less Govt that is unless they are on the receiving end
        Ocean County home of the hypocrite Republicons proud supporters of Happy Gilmore and the corrupt Friends N Family plan
        How many cons are fleecing the OCUA?

        • Tallow says:

          The problem is no one cares the OCUA is a hiring pit for friends and family that’s all.

          • Mac says:

            You’re right. The voters in Ocean County are the most spineless in America today. it’s unlikely that they are going to eliminate these political palace pits of public parasite circle jerks of little, little wantabee men, whose kneepads have worn so thin that they have to be turned out to a paid politically-protected parasite pasture, anytime in the near future.

            However, if the voters are blessed with enough new residents moving into this area who can still stand up straight, perhaps they will be able to apply their abilities to eliminate the lifetime family health benefits and pension perks that are unnecessarily attached to these ‘I’m an embarrassing public loser who knows where the bodies are buried’ political daisy chain passion pit of immoral pleasures for useless limb dicks.

            During the past 30 years, I know I’m completely unaware of a real man (male or female) being on any MUA in Ocean County. On the county level, that fact goes without saying. Gilmore would never allow anything to develop in his daisy chain nickel and dime criminal organization that he’s not capable of being himself, and after 30 years of public exposure, we’re more than satisfied he’ll never achieve that recognition.

            The Ocean County local MUA’s are mostly unnecessary carbon copies of the county’s smorgasbord swamp, which could and should be the sole agency running all of these MUA’s, thus saving the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars annually. Throughout the years, these local MUA’s have simply mimicked each other in actions and deeds, and they are rarely positive deeds.

            Applying the same valid, time-tested reasoning I applied to Gilmore and the OCUA, I know for a fact that it’s not possible for the LEH MUA to ever advance beyond a little boys and girls club, on any level or position. But then again, it’s Ocean County Friends and Family politics, and it hasn’t been able to overcome the 300-year shortcomings of their own genes, as America has painfully witnessed for several decades, for sure.

          • Tallow says:

            As you state, the local town MUA’s are carbon copies of the larger OCUA. They should review how these local five and dime MUA’s enact there hiring. I think someone should produce a daisy chain of hires over the last five years to start, at some of these more, let’s say family/friend hiring MUA pit’s, and let some of the voter’s that may have a brain cell left to review. LEH, Berkeley, Toms River, OCUA to name a few.

          • Mac says:

            Someone is always faithfully reviewing these local five and dime MUA’s, for sure. If they weren’t, it wouldn’t be possible for them to be so easily managed by mostly under-educated semi-human baboon genes in such a successfully organized and operated staged opportunity of unlimited corruption for the lifetime undeserving black hats and political zits of the human race. And in Ocean County, it’s obvious there have never been any exceptions to this fact, recorded or not. Again, so sad.

          • Mac says:

            Simple test of one’s values. Just ask yourself which elected, appointed, whatever public employee in any executive position in any of the above towns and/or the county that you would responsibly want your children looking forward to following in their footsteps.

          • Don the Con says:

            Gilmore, who has been under investigation by the FBI and IRS for his unpaid taxes and will likely face a full criminal prosecution within a year
            lock him up

          • Mac says:

            While it’s a delightful thought in and of itself, by itself, nothing is likely to change. Just business as usual in NJ.

          • Mac says:

            I’d be willing to bet that there would be several names on such a list if these positions were returned to the more responsible positions they were originally designed to be, which was public service positions. Of course, public service positions didn’t come with lifetime family health benefits and lifetime pensions that are like a flashing neon light to any and all indifferent opportunists of the moment. And I believe we have more than just a few overseeing the quality of life of our neighborhoods.

            In NJ, one can collect a monthly retirement check and enjoy using their lifetime retirement benefits for all they are worth before they even consider retirement, much less actually retire.

            Seriously. Several senior elected officials in Ocean County both have and still are collecting their monthly lifetime retirement pensions and benefits for positions they have never retired from, while continuing to collect all of their salaries and lifetime family benefits (that they can now cash-in for $15-$20+K annually, and perks for the positions they still are both serving in and have never retired from ever. Not only that, but as they continue to serve in these positions they never retired from, their monthly retirement checks increase periodically as their pension credits for the positions they never retired from increase the values of their pensions. And, as expected, several are multi-dippers.

            Keep the gravy train going folks. Freeholder Joe Vicari will be the next one you will be able to overwhelmingly reelect that will be able to continue laughing all the way to the bank for three more years of happily milking this scam.

          • guest says:

            They do it all the time. Retire from the public sector and collect their public pension. Then go get a job in the public sector again and collect the salary. They double dip taxpayers money. So in essence they may get say $60,000 a year in a public pension. Then get a job in State,County and or Municipal Gov. paying $80.000-$100,000 a year. These leeches never earned a dime privately in there life. they just eat from the teat of the public. They do, their kids do, there cousins do, the the list goes on. Why can’t any of these kin folk get work outside of the public dime? I have no problem with someone in public service for there career, but why do they need to take more after they retire?

          • Mac says:

            Because we let them. With far too few exceptions, most elected officials in NJ are strictly opportunists. They are there for the benefits that shouldn’t be available for these part time positions to begin with for such a public service position, not to mention numerous personal opportunities of deceit. They certainly don’t take seriously what you are concerned about unless someone connected can turn a profit off of it. And why not? Hardly anyone is ever punished, especially seriously, for their unethical actions, so what’s to fear?

            And it’s a problem that is easy to fix. It just takes some applied voter backbone. How long it takes to correct this situation is strictly at their fingertips. Every incumbent reelected in New Jersey strictly represents more of the same, as the record clearly details. The decision couldn’t be any simpler than that, for sure.

          • Ida says:

            The TRMUA is the most blatant.

  2. Screws lose says:

    The FBI needs to investigate the entire committee. They are some really slimy little eggs… but I have a feeling that their about to be fried!
    (Anyone want to make a bet?)

    • Mac says:

      I don’t think I’d bet big bucks on really slimy little poached eggs being fried. In the realm of things, Ocean County is a nickel and dime sandpit of little value or concern to the rest of the world. Public corruption has always been the only full time employment available here, and seasonal three-card monte beach towns have always made sure any visitors share the burden of subsidizing unlimited unnecessary public positions that have public paid benefits that create additional pensions and pension credits.

      Without a doubt, Ocean County isn’t a priority for the FBI. The FBI just shakes its head at the unwavering stupidity of the voters, who could change things so simply themselves. However, in spite of the voters bitching and moaning, why rock a boat everyone seems to support time after time after time, without fail?

      Besides, after this Trump Administration succeeds in pricing drugs beyond the means of most senior citizens, there won’t be enough FBI agents available to investigate all the Ocean County daily newspaper headlines of political corruption. The FBI agents will be too busy busting senior citizen communities to catch seniors smoking pot as a substitute for the overpriced medicine they can no longer afford.

      Personally, I like Franklin Roosevelt’s method of ‘Making America Great Again’ better than Trump’s. Back in those days, Roosevelt was wisely more concerned about 99% of America being able to be great again, not just the 1%. Trump is America’s leading poster boy for the fact that the GOP’s old white men’s club has nothing more of value to offer to anyone anymore.

      • Mercy Otis Warren says:

        This is a great comment, other than the last paragraph. I am not sure FDR cared much about the other 99% — presuming they even made it back from the most destructive battle field in the history of the world. He was a rich white guy himself — who was thoroughly entrenched in the club. And his legacy of socialistic policies (in conjunction with LBJ’s Great Society) ensured the economic demise of this once great freedom loving country. Trump continues to be an enigma, though I believe him to be more of a fraud than a crusader. I could do without either of the two clowns if you ask me.

        • Mac says:

          Thank you. And I agree with your perspective of my last paragraph. What I admire about Roosevelt is that he put Americans to work to rebuild America, thus instilling more confidence in people that they could still achieve the American Dream, as opposed to the past 50 years of simply providing them with money and benefits not to work. And no one in their right mind is going to give up benefits that protect their families if they actually get a job.

          While I certainly don’t blame Trump for any of that, Trump is still far out of his league attempting to carry out the duties of the Presidency, and so far has only succeeded in embarrassing America throughout the world, thus harmfully diminishing our standing in the world community.

          Trump demonstrates daily that he is unfit for the office he holds. He’s running the Presidency about as well as he ran his Atlantic City casinos, and we’re all well aware of how that worked out. He was out of his league in that investment also.

          Worse of all, Trump hasn’t got a clue how he is harming the worldwide respect and status of the Office of the President of the United States. Or, maybe he does. After all, he considers Chris Christie a man of honor.

          • Mercy Otis Warren says:

            Ah I see what you are saying about FDR and I guess I agree with that. With respect to the office of the Presidency and carrying out said duties and maintaining our standing in the international community, I do not think I agree. He is no doubt a buffoon and should make no unprepared speeches, but when compared against his predecessors, his presidential crimes pale in comparison — at least thus far. Obama maintained the CIA’s program to spy on American citizens, to arm terrorist to oust Assad and he green lighted the overthrow of Qaddafi. All of these acts are violations of US criminal law. Bush started an illegal war based on false pretenses; he illegally spied on Americans and authorized the torture of suspects; all illegal under US criminal law. Clinton was a disgrace in almost every way except for the fact that he was fiscally conservative (go figure). Bombing Serbia to take the heat off his infidelities was just one of his gems. Reagan illegally sold arms to Iran and laundered the money so that he could back some two bit military dictator in the Caribbean. He also illegally invaded 2 other Carribean nations. The last 4 Presidents were veritable criminals, but they got off scott free because they were doing what the MIC and the bankers told them to do. I am sure Trump will probably follow suit and become a first class criminal himself, but it is tough to further de-legitimize the USA; she has been doing a good job of that since the LBJ administration and likely well before that too. In fact I would not be surprised if every President (outside of William Henry Harrison) was in some way a criminal. And now that I think about it, Old Tippercanoe had a penchant for slaughtering Indians prior to his Presidency so his crimes are significant too. I have no use for the US Presidency — or the men who filled it.

          • Mac says:

            Wow. Very passionate statements. And I’m a bit challenged to respond. I’m not a letter of the law kind of person, per sec. I’m willing to give a good manager some leeway in dealing with extraordinary situations that develop on his/her watch. If leadership were simply following the rules, almost any minimum wage employee could do the job. No thought, no worry, no concern, like George Gilmore, albeit a grossly overpaid minimum wage and minimum intelligence showcase that unfortunately bears witness that George Norcross really did complete the third grade in spite of his personal lifetime presentations in his renowned professional trademarks of wetback English and silver wigs.

            My thoughts on Trump have nothing to do with my politics, but everything to do with his presentations since being elected to office. Donald Trump is nothing more than a lost in a dark tunnel unrefined, but just as classless, Chris Christie. He has no realistic vision or respect for healing America’s problems or advancing America’s overall quality of life. Like Christie, Trump couldn’t tell the truth to save his life, yet believes we believe everything he says in his daily distortions of the truth. So sad, even pathetic, and an exact carbon copy of the lack of quality Chris Christie was born to successfully perform that Trump admires so much.

            Like Christie, Trump got elected because he was the least unappealing of sorry coin-flip candidates running for office at that period of time in American history. And regardless of the outcome, there was no way the citizens had a chance of winning either way. The good news is that if Trump really is a Russian sleeper spy/agent, America can’t help but maintain its upper hand. America has survived a lot of whackjob leaders in the past, many of which were far brighter colors in America’s crayon box than either Christie or Trump could ever hope to be.

          • Mercy Otis Warren says:

            I guess I am willing to give a good leader a bit of leeway too as long as they extend the same clemency to their subjects. But it is a very dangerous precedents to allow an executive to overstep the very law/Constitution that they have sworn to uphold. Do as I say, not as I do almost always fails. A good leader leads by example.

            Trump did not get elected because he was the least unappealing candidate. There were a number of candidates that were decidedly better than him; Rand Paul to name one. He got elected for two reasons: 1. He is not a politician and 2. He appealed to all of the base fears and desires that any good marketer will key in on to make people buy a product. That is, he got the working middle class to think that he would actually bring their manufacturing jobs back, while simultaneously deporting all those scary migrant workers. He said he wanted to lessen tensions with Russia and stop foreign military interventions. In spite of the impracticality of this actually happening, he was the only one who appeared to be feeding the people anything other than BS. That appearance turned out to wrong, and the people were fooled again. But hey, that is politics. What amazes me is the level of masochism that exists in the general population. As much as they get f%^&*#, they keep coming back for more. You would think they may be inclined to try something other — like themselves and their family and their neighbors instead of some rich anonymous prick that has been lying to them for 200 years. Salvation lies within. It certainly won’t be found in the swamps of Washington or Toms River — for that matter.

          • Don the Con says:

            Red Necks voted for a con man who is trying to screw the bumpkins that voted for him despite Trump paying 25 mil for fraud with Trump U which should have gotten him jail
            Coal Jobs are NOT coming back you have been conned
            When the FBI is done following the money Trump is going to jail

          • Mac says:

            Not if Christie is appointed to replace Sessions. If that happens, all we are going to get back is the results of the meatloaf Trump already stuffed down Christie’s throat.

          • Mac says:

            I think we just have slightly different views on how to achieve the same result. Most Americans today give little thought to their freedoms, and have no true appreciation of both the values and responsibilities of these freedoms, as they live under the false wisdom that ‘it’s always been this way.’ I suspect that’s been the final words of all previous republics throughout world history.

            When us-us-us becomes me-me-me in a republic, we all end up as pieces in someone else’s game plan whether we like it or not. On occasion, I given serious thought as to how many times in the past several billion years societies on Earth have so rapidly advanced themselves within a 100-year period of time that they actually blew themselves up, thus causing the processes of the wonders of the Earth to commence all over again.

          • Don the Con says:

            Follow the money since no American banks lend the deadbeat money
            Don the Con Jr and Eric Trump said they got the money from Russia and if Comrade Trumpski did nothing wrong why is he so worried about Muellar?
            Even Republicons are voting against Trumpcare

  3. outtahere says:

    No surprise here. They treat the residents of the town with the same retaliatory practices. This town will go broke on lawsuit payouts.

  4. Stacey Lynn says:

    This is just disgusting. When is enough going to be enough? More law suits, city hall fighting city hall like a bunch of immature children. Going to cost the hard working people of this town more money! When will they ever care about the people!?
    The committee is an embarrassment!!
    I’d be ashamed to sit on that Dias! Lisa Stevens is starting to look like a saint compared to these other baboons!!!


  5. white trash pineys says:

    We all know Jack Kelly is a bag of dog crap. alooks like with Fromsky, the apple didn’t roll far from the tree

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