Entries in Kevin Kelly (7)


QUESTION: Does the NJ Herald have a conflict?

On Sunday, the NJ Herald ran an editorial titled:  Franklin caught on a slippery slope.”  The newspaper contended:

“By voting again on an already approved ordinance, Franklin officials surely are taking the issue down a slippery slope that is bound to slide right into a courtroom. 

Before the Borough Council on Tuesday will be an ordinance that sets stricter requirements against disturbing steep slopes for developments, something that by all indications and records the council already approved last November.

At issue is whether the developer of a proposed 300-unit apartment complex on Munsonhurst Road can proceed using the previous, less-restrictive slope requirements or if the project will need to adhere to the new and soon-to-be-reaffirmed set. 

Records seem to indicate the steeper slope requirements were indeed recommended by the Planning Board and approved by the Borough Council, but those changes did not get codified, and the previous slope formula remained in the borough's online code book. 

Using the less restrictive slope requirements, JCM Investments presented plans for its apartment complex to the Planning Board in May, and in early June the board ruled the applications complete. No objections to the involved slopes were raised. Only later, at a public hearing in June, was it pointed out that the slopes formula used in the plans was no longer in effect. 

That began a slew of head-scratching, finger-pointing and legal action foreboding that led to the difficult-to-understand move to pass the stricter slope requirements again. 

Doing so can only further muddy waters that are already murky. 

Should the council approve the ordinance, it could be interpreted that the previous attempt wasn't done correctly, so the previous requirements were still in effect. 

On the other hand, if the council votes down the ordinance, does that negate the previous vote? And what effect would that have on the apartment project? 

The Herald continued:

The developer contends he acted in good faith, though it can be argued that ignorance of the law is no excuse. 

However, if the intent of the stricter requirements was to allow for greater discussion and review, that has already been accomplished. At a late November meeting, Planning Board member Jim Williams said, "We are reasonable people here. You want more than 10, 5 and 2 (the stricter set of slope requirements), come tell us why. We might say, ‘Yeah, that makes sense.' "

Without knowing it, they may have done just that when the plans submitted to the Planning Board and presumably reviewed by professional planners and engineers were deemed complete. No comments were made that too many slopes were disturbed. 

If the stricter slope requirements are ruled as applicable to the proposed development, a variance should be approved allowing the project to proceed to the next step. The borough code should be updated and let's move on. (A reprimand may be in order for the responsible party who failed to make the approved change to the code.)

That is, unless the failure to record the changes to the requirements will be used as an excuse to now stop the project.

Regardless of what happens on Tuesday, the matter will most likely need to be sorted out in court.

That’s the story, as reported in the NJ Herald.  

So we are curious as to why the NJ Herald is getting involved in this issue, without disclosing the involvement of its own attorney – who is also the new Sussex County Attorney – Mr. Kevin Kelly.  The Herald must be aware of Mr. Kelly’s involvement, as they have reported on it numerous times: 

Franklin accepts plans for 300 apartments - New Jersey Herald -


May 16, 2017 - Photo by Jake West/New Jersey Herald — Attorney Kevin Kelly speaks to ... to the proposal by Silk City LLC, a subsidiary of JCM Investments. 

Developer considers next step after Franklin denies apartment plan ...


Jul 7, 2017 - Newton Attorney Kevin Kelly said he is reviewing the borough's ... Daurio is a principal of JCM Investments which has developed and manages ... 

Apartment developer seeks Franklin meeting - New Jersey Herald -


Sep 22, 2017 - FRANKLIN -- The attorney for JCM Investments, the firm that wants to build ... attorney Kevin Kelly said there are issues for consideration by the ... 

Franklin Planning Board endorses new steep-slope rules - New ...


3 days ago - JCM Investments and its subsidiary, Silk City Rentals, which owns the ... at Thursday's hearing by attorneys Kevin Kelly and Autumn McCourt. 

Franklin Planning Board OKs zone recommendations for Munsonhurst ...


Nov 2, 2017 - Nick Daurio, a principal in JCM Investments, seated at center, listens along with his attorney, Kevin Kelly, seated behind him, and engineer Eric ... 

Franklin Planning Board rejects major housing complex - New Jersey ...


Jul 6, 2017 - As presented by Nick Daurio, a principal in JCM Investments, the ... After the vote, Kevin Kelly, a Newton attorney hired by JCM Investments, ... 

Franklin OKs rezoning for apartment complex property, but keeps an ...


Nov 30, 2017 - On Wednesday, attorney Kevin Kelly, who is representing the developer, JCM Investments and its subsidiary, Silk City Rentals, said he has not ... 

Franklin Council agrees to settlement, property to be rezoned to allow ...


Sep 27, 2017 - ... the developer's attorney Kevin Kelly argued in a letter last week, actually favored Silk City's proposed Milly's Court development on 71 acres.

This recent photograph, appearing in the NJ Herald, contains this caption:  Nick Daurio, a principal in JCM Investments, seated at center, listens along with his attorney, Kevin Kelly, seated behind him, and engineer Eric Snyder, seated in front of him, as the Franklin Planning Board begins its meeting on Wednesday.” 

So why is the NJ Herald formally putting its weight behind this project in an op-ed that reads like a threat of legal action against the town and taxpayers of Franklin?  Is it the newspaper talking… or is it the attorney talking through the newspaper?

Given his new role at the county – as county government’s top attorney and legal advisor – Mr. Kelly should avoid the appearance of such conflicts.  Given its role as the arbiter of elections and the host of political campaign debates and such, so should the NJ Herald.


NJ Herald's attorney attends controversial event

Kevin Kelly, an attorney whose partner is the former Chairwoman of the Sussex County Democrat Committee, attended a private dinner and "planning session" with a national Democrat political consultant, candidate John McCann, and Sebastian Gorka -- a foreign policy advisor in the White House who was fired by the Trump administration.

In the picture above, all eyes appear to be on Kelly, who was deeply involved in the coup in Vernon Township -- as well as partnering with Democrat Dan Perez in a lawsuit against the Vernon GOP.  Kelly is the New Jersey Herald's attorney and a somewhat controversial figure in Sussex County. 

Sebastian Gorka, on the other hand, is a very controversial figure nationally (perhaps internationally).  So good job Herald! 

McCann slammed over ties to former Trump adviser Gorka - Politico


McCann slammed over ties to former Trump adviser Gorka. By MATT FRIEDMAN. 03/23/2018 05:01 AM EDT. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. The former chairman of Bergen County's Republican Party is slamming a congressional candidate for raising money with Sebastian Gorka, a one-time adviser to President ... 

The former chairman of Bergen County‘s Republican Party is slamming a congressional candidate for raising money with Sebastian Gorka, a one-time adviser to President Donald Trump who wore a medal associated with a Hungarian group that collaborated with Nazi Germany. 

“It’s absolutely despicable. It shows that I have to assume that John McCann approves of this man,” said Bob Yudin, who chaired the Bergen County GOP from 2008 to 2016 and backs McCann rival Steve Lonegan for the GOP nomination in the 5th Congressional District. “This man seems to have sympathy toward fascists and Nazis, and this act of accepting support from him disqualifies John McCann in all ways and manners from being my congressman.”

Wow.  Looks like John McCann has pissed the bed again.


Elements within the GOP conspire for Democrat Perez

New York City lawyer Dan Perez was introduced into Sussex County politics through the mess that is Vernon Township governance.  Perez was brought in by fellow lawyer Kevin Kelly, to overturn the Republican establishment in Vernon, then led by allies of former Freeholder Glenn Vetrano. 


The means of that overthrow was classic Bill Kunstler.  Yes, Marxist lawyer William Kunstler.  Perez trained under Kunstler, an avowed Marxist, and was an associate in his law firm.  After Kunstler's death, Perez managed the firm in partnership with Kunstler's law partner, Ron Kuby.


The Kunstler law firm defended members of the Catonsville Nine, Black Panther Party, Weather Underground Organization, the Attica Prison rioters, and the American Indian Movement.  But  Kunstler refused to defend groups like the Tea Party, on the grounds that: "I only defend those whose goals I share. I'm not a lawyer for hire. I only defend those I love."


Kunstler defended Joanne Chesimard (AKA Assata Shakur) who was convicted of murdering a New Jersey State Trooper and who escaped from prison with the help of fellow terrorists.  She is now on the FBI's MOST WANTED list. 


In collaboration with Dan Perez' law partner Ron Kuby, Kunstler defended Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, head of the terrorist group Gama'a al-Islamiyah, responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Colin Ferguson, the man responsible for the 1993 Long Island Rail Road shooting; Glenn Harris, a New York City public school teacher who absconded with a fifteen-year-old girl; Nico Minardos, indicted by Rudy Giuliani for conspiracy to ship arms to Iran; and associates of the Gambino organized crime family.


Kunstler trained Perez in hysteria-driven, media-centered political lawyering and Perez learned well.  First, Perez teamed up with Kevin Kelly -- the lawyer for the New Jersey Herald -- to make sure the media coverage lurched his way.  Then, he threw a legal hail-Mary and filed a RICO suit against the GOP leaders in Vernon.  It got plenty of press, made for salacious reading, but was -- so far as the law is concerned -- ridiculous.  But with the right media coverage, it successfully smeared the Vernon GOP and set the stage for a change of government.


Behind it all was a very special interest -- big money, deep pockets -- in the form of the late, great Mr. Mulvihill.  He underwrote the campaign to change the form of government and, through the Herald's Kevin Kelly, hired some of the county's best political consultants to do polling and strategy.  Mulvihill got behind a new team called "Vernon First" which included a gentleman by the name of Joe Tadrick, who ran for Vernon council as a member of that team.  Most of the team got elected too -- but it didn't turn out quite as planned because the new Mayor had a streak of independence that could not be broken.  Bully for him!


Dan Perez went on to represent Republican Kelly and his Democrat colleague in their lawsuit against the Sparta Police Department.  Kelly went on to do pro bono work for a local veterans group active in Vernon.  Favors were given and favors expected. 


Perez conducted a personal jihad against former Freeholder Vetrano -- and used his allies on the all-Republican Freeholder Board to land him a coveted position on the Sussex County Community College board.  Perez held that post long enough to gain a bit more publicity (courtesy of the ever-willing Herald) and to ruin the careers (or, at least, attempt to) of a few more Republicans.


Perez became involved in the 2015 Republican primary as the lawyer and political advisor to Assembly candidate Gail Phoebus and to what became known as the "George Graham ticket" of Freeholder candidates Carl Lazzaro and Jonathan Rose.  All were successful, and one of the first acts of the new majority on the Freeholder Board was to appoint Dan Perez to yet another coveted political patronage position -- Commissioner of the SCMUA Board. 


In just a few years, New York City lawyer Dan Perez has risen through the ranks of Sussex County Republicans without the need to be a Republican.  His career has been sustained and promoted by Republicans -- with a huge assist from the New Jersey Herald.  This is remarkable, given his associations with a Marxist like Bill Kunstler.  But this is, after all, Sussex County -- where being a "goodfella" is what matters most.


This will be a very interesting election, so stay tuned...


Herald shows pro-Democrat bias in stories

Twice on Sunday the New Jersey Herald showed an extreme pro-Democrat Party bias in its coverage.  On Sunday, a Herald story by David Danzis about county school consolidation gave Republican Steve Oroho just 153 words of coverage, while lavishing 266 words on Democrat Jennifer Hamilton. 


For the Assembly candidates, the count was 244 for the Republicans and 329 for the Democrats.  329 words is more than most paid campaign mailers contain.

Danzis's pro-Democrat bias got a little ridiculous when he included a quote by Hamilton that had absolutely nothing to do with the topic of the story -- a purely gratuitous quote that should have included a "paid for by..." disclaimer:


"Often times the first question somebody asks me is ‘Are you a Democrat or a Republican?' like that's going to determine my position on every single issue," she said. "I find it interesting because it gives people an easy out. It makes it simple for them so they can say, ‘Well, I know if you're a Democrat that's not what I'm looking for.' But it also takes away from potentially electing some really good, qualified people into these positions just because of the letter they have next to their name."


Now that is a political advertisement and it plainly underscores the fact that the Herald is shilling for Democrats to a readership that is among the most conservative in the state.  In the long run, not a good move. 


Danzis could have pointed out that candidate Hamilton is endorsed by the NJEA, a left-of-center lobby group that has explicitly opposed school consolidation, which makes her statement rather silly.  On top of that, it is her party -- the Democrat Party -- that has steadfastly supported the education funding formula whereby the property taxes of wealthy professionals and corporations in Abbott school districts like Hoboken and Jersey City are subsidized by working class taxpayers in rural Sussex County.  Party does matter, because parties have policies and platforms that differ dramatically.  Danzis should be bright enough to understand that.


Also on Sunday, the Herald printed the press release of Democrat Party Freeholder candidate Dan Perez, word for word.  If the Herald is going to be a partisan campaign vehicle for Perez, it should fully disclose the relationship between the newspaper's attorney -- Kevin Kelly -- and candidate Perez.  Not only did Perez represent Kelly in his lawsuit against the Sparta Police Department, but he and Kelly together sued Vernon Township -- making the ridiculous allegation that a local grandmother was a "racketeer".   Lord, save us from the lawyers! 


Leaked Email: How Perez uses Herald to deliver attacks

Ever wonder why some things can be totally ignored by the New Jersey Herald, like last year's competitive Freeholder race, while others get detailed coverage even if there is no news to report?  Of course, the Herald plays favorites, and the most favored of those favorites are those who grant the newspaper government -mandated subsidies from the coffers of taxpayer funds.  Some months, those who handle the purse strings of county and local governments are what keeps some newspapers from laying off staff or closing their doors altogether. 


SCMUA commissioner Dan Perez is a politically connected Sussex County lawyer who counts Freeholder George Graham, Assemblyperson Gail Phoebus, New Jersey Herald attorney Kevin Kelly, and various New Jersey Herald reporters and staff among his confederates.  They share dirt on other prominent people in Sussex County and decide who to do the dirty to:


The way Perez handles the Herald is instructive, as in the following memo:

Now how is that for manipulating what the average consumer of the Herald reads and spinning the way he or she thinks?