BRICK – Councilman Jim Fozman (R – Brick) has fired back at Democratic Mayor John Ducey’s latest accusations about the councilman’s alleged pursuit of a DPW director position, countering Mayor Ducey by claiming that his recent allegations were lies and making new charges of political patronage in town hall.
In another statement provided to OCP, Councilman Fozman, who this week endorsed Republican U.S Senate candidate Bob Hugin before switching parties and joining the GOP, has continued his vehement denial of allegations that he sought a position as the director of the Brick Municipal Utilities Authority, a charge that was levied by his former running mate, Mayor John Ducey as Fozman departed the Democratic party and accused the mayor’s administration of lacking in transparency. Ducey himself responded to that allegation.
On his employment situation, Fozman reiterated his denial of having sought Ducey’s blessing to become the next Brick DPW head. “I am retired and have been collecting Social Security for 5 years,” Fozman began.
Accuses Mayor, Campaign Advisor of Lying
“Everyone in politics knows it would not be legal to hire a sitting Councilman at the Township,” he continued. “If Ducey and his political advisors were going to make up lies, they should at least make up one that makes sense.”
He criticized the mayor for being concerned about Fozman’s relationship with the MUA, when the mayor did not originally express opposition to his appointment to the MUA board.
For his part, Fozman admitted to requesting to take a Rutgers class, but that it was so that he could “better qualify as an ongoing Commissioner,” rather than to become the MUA’s new executive director as alleged by Ducey, according to the councilman.
Fozman also fired back by doubling down on his accusations related to transparency under the Ducey administration – along with new charges of “friends and family” getting hired by the Democrat administration.
“He permits a shroud of secrecy to exist among his controlled Council persons,” the councilman alleged of the mayor, citing the failure of the council to hold subcommittee meetings on a monthly basis. The councilman also said that Ducey campaign manager and Democrat political operative Mitch Seim told him that he was no longer welcome at political caucus meetings because of differences in philosophy.
Fozman: Ducey Relative Hired As Public Defender, Business Administrator’s Son In DPW
Mayor Ducey previously attempted to link Fozman to past Republican patronage hires under previous administrations. In his retort to Ducey’s charges, the councilman claimed that Ducey’s in-law was hired as the township’s public defender, and that Brick Business Administrator Joanne Bergin’s son was hired at the DPW.
“Regarding his claim of not hiring Family or Friends, he made sure to hire his Brother’ n Law [sic] as a Public Defender, and the Business Administrator’s Son at the DPW,” Fozman alleged.
UPDATED at 7:04 PM to clarify that Fozman did not actually take the class, he applied but didn’t get approval