O’SCANLON: NO MORE CONTRACTS FOR POLS
Six months ago, Declan O’Scanlon was a contender for state Assembly fighting political accusations of cronyism for his work on the Fair Haven cell tower deal.
You might think that the last thing O’Scanlon would want to do now is to remind the public of the flap. But yesterday, as a rookie member of the Assembly, O’Scanlon introduced legislation that would ban people in his new shoes from getting the kind of work that led to all the static.
O’Scanlon’s bill, A2585, would prohibit state legislators or companies they own as little as one percent of from entering into contracts with local, county and state government entities in their districts.
“While having people with experience in running their own businesses is an asset to the Legislature, we must make sure that these officials are not using their legislative positions for personal gain and are not allowing the operation of their business to conflict with their legislative duties,” O’Scanlon said in a press release announcing the bill.
“This legislation will make the ground rules clear and will ensure that no legislator enters into contracts with any of the public entities in his or her legislative district.
“As someone who operates his own business, I understand the importance of avoiding these potential conflicts and have voluntarily imposed this standard on my own business activities,” O’Scanlon said. “This bill would ensure that this standard is mandatory for all legislators.”
A Republican who
also serves formerly served on the Little Silver borough council, O’Scanlon drew flak in last year’s election from opponents Mike Panter, then an incumbent, and his running mate, Fair Haven resident Amy Mallet, for his work on a deal to site a cell tower near Ridge Road in Fair Haven.
O’Scanlon works in the telecom industry as a consultant through his company, FSD Enterprises. He refuted Panter and Mallet’s accusations.
He won election in November on a ticket with now-state Senator Jennifer Beck and fellow Assembly member Caroline Casagrande. The three share legislative office space on Monmouth Street in Red Bank.