TOMS RIVER, NJ – In every town in the State of New Jersey, the top lawyer for that town regularly attends township council meetings. That is unless you’re Greg McGuckin, the chief legal counsel for Toms River and New Jersey Assemblyman hired by Toms River Mayor Mo Hill. Since taking the job during a pandemic zoom meeting, McGuckin has not made a single township council meeting.
When we asked McGuckin why he doesn’t attend meetings in Toms River, he said “My schedule is none of your business.” Instead of attending the meeting in Toms River each second and fourth Tuesday night, McGuckin double dips by going to Jackson, yet charges the township for work done as a result of the Toms River meeting, according to an Opra request of his firm’s bills in 2020.
McGuckin stands to earn nearly $400,000 annually in his job, created by himself and awarded to him by the majority of Republican councilmembers to which he donated thousands of dollars to their political campaigns.
This year, McGuckin is gearing up for political re-election. The unpopular local lawyer who has seized financial control of nearly every municipal body in Ocean County is also running for re-election as a New Jersey Assemblyman and is expected to face a fierce primary after he sponsored a pro-Governor Phil Murphy bill that sought to fine residents $15,000 per incident for violating the governor’s COVID-19 executive orders.
McGuckin and his running mates John Catalano and James Holzapfel introduced a bill to severely and financially punish anyone who held large gatherings or reopened their business during the pandemic with an instant and mandatory $15,000 fine.
McGuckin and Hill were charged for illegal hiring by Toms River Councilman Dan Roderick, but those charges were dismissed by longtime Ocean County political insider Judge Marlene Lynch Ford.