Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Controversial and curmudgeonly County Counsel Malcolm Carton received more criticism today, this time from 13th District Assemblywoman Amy H. Handlin, a former freeholder. Apparently Carton treated then - Freeholder Handlin in a similar manner to her successor, Freeholder Anna Little.
Former Assistant County Counsel Robert J. Hrebek has also weighed in with his experiences with Carton.
Since our last post on Carton, the tips have been pouring in; it seems Carton has courted controversy since at least the 80's.
Carton has had a habit of giving poorly researched legal advice. In the early 80's, then - Freeholder Frank Self resigned. Carton advised him to direct his resignation to Director Harry Larrison, Jr. As a result, Long Branch Mayor Philip Huhn was appointed to Self's seat. Freeholder Huhn's vote was needed to provide a 2/3 majority for a bond issue. It was then revealed that freeholder resignations are to be addressed to the Secretary of State, rendering both Huhn's appointment and the bond issue invalid, as Self's resignation was defective there was no vacancy.
Carton's advice may also be at the root of recent controversy about Director Bill Barham's relationship with Hall of Records contractor Benjamin R. Harvey III, and may be the reason Barham directed Carton to seek an opinion from the State Attorney General's office; in effect a second opinion. It is not known whether Carton became uppity with Barham.
Also in the early 80's, Carton was considered a front - runner to succeed Democrat County Prosecutor (Now Superior Court Judge) Alexander "Hollywood Al" Lehrer to the point that some people called Carton "Mr. Prosecutor". County Chairman Frederick Kniesler had a different idea, and nominated John A. Kaye, who would go on to serve over 20 years in the post. Harry Larrison, who supported Carton, publicly objected in the press, and promised a "bloodbath", presumably meaning that he would work to oust Kniesler. The "bloodbath" never happened.
The Board of Chosen Freeholders will meet tomorrow night (March 22). Freeholder Little's complaints about the belligerent barrister will be on the Executive Session agenda. The freeholders are busy people; they have no time to play. Carton can do the Board, the Republican Party and the taxpayers a big, solid favor by submitting his resignation.