Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on March 18, 2022, Paul Kennedy, 66, of Ocean Gate, was charged with Official Misconduct in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:30-2a, and Theft in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3a. Kennedy serves as the Mayor of Ocean Gate.
These charges are the result of an extensive investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards/Corruption Unit and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Squad. The investigation revealed that Kennedy, in his capacity as Mayor of the Borough of Ocean Gate, failed to turn over proceeds from the sale of borough assets – sold by way of the government auction website GovDeals.com – and instead took possession of those proceeds for his own personal benefit. The investigation further revealed that Kennedy failed to deposit borough parking meter funds in the borough’s bank account, and that he sold borough office furniture through a private Facebook Marketplace account, attempting to keep the proceeds for his personal benefit.
Kennedy was processed at the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and released on a summons pending a future court date.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards/Corruption Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Squad, Ocean Gate Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.
The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.