A comment attributed to the late Monmouth County Freeholder Harry Larrison Jr. while he was under investigation for public corruption has raised some eyebrows at Red Bank Borough Hall.
The remark appeared in an Asbury Park Press story Sunday, a look-back at the federal investigation dubbed Operation Bid Rig, which wound up in charges against nearly two dozen elected and appointed officials in Monmouth County.
None were from Red Bank. But in a remark caught on tape by his chauffeur, Tony Palughi (then still squiring the recently retired, 78-year-old Larrison around in a county car), Larrison brags of his clout in winning municipal business for brothers Stephen and Matthew Appolonia, owners of Interntional Trucks of Central Jersey. And he implies that some of that grease was applied in Red Bank.
While ranting that International hadn’t given his own company, Larrison Fuel Oil, a break on an invoice, Larrison said, according to Press reporter Bob Cullinane’s story:
“How about the hours I spent on the phone with Middletown, Red Bank and Howell? (Appolonia) was in Howell until I got into the act. Isn’t my time worth something?” he gripes to Palughi, according to FBI transcripts of tape recordings. But when Palughi tries to offer Larrison advice, the former freeholder barks, “Keep your mouth shut . . . shut! It’s nobody’s business but mine.”