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Toth Defends Actions After Mayor's Accusation

Acropolis: Toth tried to help his business clients' permit approvals expedited

During a heated discussion on a proposed Brick municipal government restructuring plan, Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis implied Councilman Dan Toth – a fellow Republican – was supporting the ordinance in order to oust Deputy Business Administrator Juan Bellu from his position in township government after he notified Acropolis of e-mails Toth had sent.

Bellu's job would be eliminated under the restructuring plan, which passed and is now expected to be vetoed by Acropolis.

Acropolis read from e-mails sent to Bellu from Toth, who was asking about the progress of permit approvals for two liquor stores, Tenali Wines and Joe Canals.

Toth is in the liquor business and often abstains from liquor license votes at council meetings, citing a potential conflict of interest.

In one e-mail from Bellu to Acropolis, which Acropolis read, Bellu said Toth had asked him to "expedite" a certificate of occupancy issuance to a liquor store because the owner had purchased inventory and would be required to pay his suppliers.

"I guess when you're in public you abstain, but in private, you call to help people you have a financial interest in," said Acropolis.

Toth said after the meeting that he has personally called township officials on behalf of both citizens and business owners including, recently, a woman from Herbertsville who spotted what turned out to be an overcharge on her property tax bill.

He said he also called township officials when permits for Nick Catone's Mixed Martial Arts academy were delayed.

"We are their conduit," said Toth, referring to business owners and township residents.

In the case of the owner of Tenali Wines, Toth said, the two had known each other "seven years before I even became a councilman" and the message sent to Bellu was simply acting on behalf of a friend and taxpayer who he had convinced to open up shop in Brick.

"I have long-standing relationships with these people," said Toth. "I actually told them to look at Toms River and Brick."

In the case of Joe Canal's, he said, state liquor laws require business owners to pay suppliers within 30 days, and the owner of the store could have been "up a creek" if he could not open his doors and start selling his wares by the time the bills were due.

"The mayor can say anything he wanted about me, he's entitled to that," Toth said."

"We help them solve problems, and I'm guilty of it," said Toth. "I'm guilty of helping people."

MOONPOOL October 03, 2012 at 10:24 AM
raiders fan; 'dobble ducy doo' needs toth now that Council Moore has shown he is not a puppet of the dem party! moore will act more loke a Republican then toth will by doing whats in the best intrest of the taxpayers of brick. "TEAM SCARPELLIE HAS RISEN!" "Toth, Ducey, Fozman, Lydecker and team scarpelli are perfect together"
DennyD October 03, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Sorry Raiders Fan, The Mayor was 100% wrong. He started yelling when he was not recognized through the chair. I'll be nice and not respond again.
frances October 03, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Bravo to Councilman Moore for voting as a responsible Councilman representative of ALL THE PEOPLE in a fashion consistent with sound judgment and loyalty to his constituents, not his party. In my opinion, Councilman Toth acted in his own best interest and his actions are worthy of further investigation.
Cosmo October 17, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I found it amazing last night that so many of our elected officials are ignorant of the procedures and practices of our government. The township attorney has to be present to tell them how their actions determine outcomes. Councilman Toth's abstinence essentially became a NO vote because he provided an explanation as to why he abstained? How was this objective? If he did not give a reason, according to Atty Cipriani, the results would have been different and a super majority would have been reached.
Ken October 18, 2012 at 03:58 AM
If he can not vote, he should resign, How will this town ever get better if our council members are afraid to vote

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