A group of residents in Collingswood have launched an New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) investigation into Jim Maley of the law firm Maley Givens PC, currently running for Commissioner of Collingswood. Maley, the current mayor, is a 32-year incumbent.
The residents allege that Maley did not file an ELEC pay-to-play report in either 2018 or 2019. According to their complaint, “In 2018, the firm submitted a blank report without the necessary information required by law. In 2019, the firm submitted no report at all. There is sufficient evidence to believe that the firm procured at least $50,000 in public contracts, thereby triggering the reporting requirement.” Prior to 2018 and 2019, Maley Givens PC had reported nearly $1 million in public contracts a year each year.
From 2006 to 2020, without filing in 2018 or 2019, the firm disclosed over $9 million in public contracts. In 2020, the year of the most recent filing, Maley Givens reported $958,285.51 in public contracts.
“Maley’s firm made over nine million dollars in public contracts, while giving thousands and thousands in political donations, while he was mayor.” Said Sean Lee, resident of Collingswood, and supporter of the complaint. “And that’s the number we know. Why are there two years of no filings when there is clearly a long and rich record of public contracts?”
Maley is an attorney at Maley Givens PC, formerly known as Maley & Associates. Prior to this, Maley worked for Parker McCay, Phil Norcross’ law firm.
“This is literally why pay-to-pay disclosure laws exist, so we can hold public officials accountable. It does us no good if someone powerful like Jim Maley can pick and choose when he follows the law.” Said Rachel Ross, a Collingswood resident of six years.
Under New Jersey law, a business entity is required to submit a “Business Entity Annual Statement” if it has received more than $50,000 during a calendar year through agreements or contracts with a public entity or public entities, and must file each year to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. ELEC provides searchable pay to play reports through their website.
The complaint continues, “There is no reason to believe that the firm stopped entering into contracts with public entities or making political contributions in 2018 or 2019. In fact, public records indicate otherwise. On January 4, 2018, the firm was reappointed as redevelopment counsel by the Borough of Glassboro… Later that year, in October, 2018, Maley Givens paid $7,800.00 to “Cossabone Spence & Fiola Committee” in Glassboro. Municipal counsel meeting minutes confirm the firm was reappointed as redevelopment counsel in Stratford and Metuchen in 2018….Similarly, in 2019, the firm was reappointed as redevelopment counsel by Metuchen, Glassboro, Stratford, and Upper Township.”
“Maley is up for election right now. His constituents deserve to know the amount of contracts he’s scooped up during this most recent term in office, and how much he’s contributing to the Norcross machine.” Said Michael Lazaro, a town resident and signer of the complaint. “No elected official should be getting rich off of tax dollars with no accountability. We demand answers.”
Collingswood is notable in NJ political circles for being the scene of a Progressive upset in Camden County, when a team of 16 progressives took over municipal committee in 2019. It is also the home of a very competitive town commissioner race this year, where a slate of insurgents are challenging Maley’s 32- year incumbency for mayor and town commissioners.
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