The mayor of Ocean Gate is throwing ice water on a barrage of accusations made by two former councilmen who abruptly resigned from their positions.

Paul Kennedy, Jim Simpson, Kim Guadagno (Tom Mongelli Townsquare Media)
Paul Kennedy, Jim Simpson, Kim Guadagno (Tom Mongelli Townsquare Media)

Several of the issues brought up by two Democrats against the Republican mayor and council have raised some questions and has captured the attention of the state Attorney General's office.

Mayor Paul Kennedy tells Townsquare Media News, both James McGrath and Frank Santarpia were never left out of public meetings because there weren't any. He says he did have one-on-one's with the four other council members, Santarpia was out of town and McGrath had voted against his stipend for years - which wasn't for his mayoral duties anyhow.

Kennedy explains "my reasoning for not contacting him was because I know how he is.  He's a hot head and constantly flies off the handle.  To me, personally, it's all politically motivated."

The council voted to increase Kennedy's salary from $20,000 to $50,000 - which covers his work as acting administrator, public works supervisor and other hats he wears.  Normally, each department would have a different staff member in the position.  With Kennedy doing more with less, he says "it would be a cost savings to the borough in the long run. Think of me as a bargain."

Both McGrath and Santarpia left the dais after claiming they were left in the dark about a number of issues including the salary.  McGrath has sent a letter to the Attorney General requesting a probe into Sunshine Law violations.

Kennedy calls those claims ridiculous and unfounded, since they didn't violate the law.

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