Trenton Lawmakers Who Proposed $15,000 Pandemic Gathering Fine Criticize Murphy Over Vaccine Delay

TOMS RIVER, NJ – Call it a fastball down the middle, but New Jersey State Senator James Holzapfel and Assemblymen John Catalano and Gregory P. McGuckin swung at the pitch.  After feeling the heat from constituents this year over their bill to fine New Jersey residents an astronomical and absurd $15,000 for violating “Murphy’s Law”, they tried to recover by hopping on the Trenton bandwagon criticizing the Governor and Judith Persichilli for their blunder that cost New Jersey seniors an additional week for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.   They were among the last of their peers to the press release party on the subject, but nevertheless, piled on.

Now, voters in June will have to ask if an obvious press release criticizing the governor will make up for their lock stepping with Murphy at the start of the pandemic.

Sen. Jim Holzapfel, Asm. Greg McGuckin and Asm. John Catalano blasted the Murphy Administration for failure to meet a filing deadline that will delay COVID-19 vaccinations in nursing homes for at least another week.

“How many more vulnerable seniors will be infected by this deadly virus because of this inexcusable delay? It is unthinkable that after the virus killed more than 7,100 senior citizens when it swept through nursing homes earlier this year, the department responsible for those facilities would not get this right,” the 10th District Legislators said in a statement.

“Once again, the Murphy Administration has failed our long-term care facilities, our most vulnerable medically fragile residents, and the families that love them.”

The plan to start giving injections today required the state to register long-term care facilities by the federal deadline of Dec. 7. The department was at least one day late.

“Knowing full well that the largest percentage of COVID deaths have occurred in nursing homes, this should have been Job One for the health department staff,” the lawmakers said. “Saving lives and preventing a repeat of the tragic outbreaks in confined facilities must be a priority, but the commissioner excused the failure on ‘the volume of information that had to be inputted.’

“That is malfeasance, plain and simple, and it puts lives at risk. Breakdowns like this are unacceptable. We are not talking about painting a fence, where you can come back the next week and finish it up.

“Within the Department of Health, there appears to be no sense of urgency and no appreciation for the value of life.”

Earlier this year, the trio marched in unison with the Governor and sought to empower the governor with fines of up to $15,000 for residents who violated Murphy’s draconic pandemic orders against public gatherings and violating those orders.   A close advisor with the trio contends their bill was targeted only towards Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish community, but all three men have declined to questions about that bill by Shore News Network.

Locking elbows with Governor Murphy may cost these three men their jobs as Republicans in Ocean County are planning on removing them through a primary election battle in June.   Ocean County voters will likely make them pay for their action against the people during the pandemic.   McGuckin also holds approximately twenty-one public jobs at the Jersey Shore, earning an estimated $4,000,000 annually.  McGuckin until recently had a $125,000 IRS lien placed on his home in Toms River after not paying his taxes.

McGuckin was charged earlier this year by Toms River Councilman Daniel Rodrick for allegedly creating himself a job in Toms River.  That job is estimated to pay about $400,000 annually according to township records from prior to 2020.  Eventually, Ocean County Judge Marlene Lynch Ford dropped those charges and McGuckin got to keep the job he wrote for himself and facilitated through hardnosed political jockeying of the Ocean County insider politics game.