Home>Local>Gloucester>Mantua set to pardon Layton for missed meetings

Mantua Township Committeeman Shawn Layton, the Gloucester County Fire Marshal, with his late K9, Ember. (Photo: Shawn Layton).

Mantua set to pardon Layton for missed meetings

Move by colleagues on all-Democratic township committee comes after GOP chair asked by his seat hadn’t been declared vacant

By David Wildstein, November 21 2022 6:01 pm

The Mantua township committeeman at the center of an investigation into the death of first responder dog appears to be getting a reprieve from his political allies.

Sean Layton, who also serves as the Gloucester County fire marshal, missed township committee meetings in July, August and September while dealing with the fallout of K9 Ember, a three-year-old Golden Retriever that died in a county-issued vehicle, allegedly after leaving the dog in his car overnight during scorching temperatures.

The Gloucester County Prosecutor has not yet completed their probe.

Last Friday, Mantua Republican Municipal Chairman Sean Sepsey notified the municipal clerk that he considered the seat vacant under state law that viewed a failure to attend meetings for eight consecutive weeks without an excused absence.

“Mr. Layton has not attended any Mantua Township Committee meetings since July 18 and has not been formally excused from these meetings,” Sepsey said in a letter to the clerk, Jennica Bileci.

Now an agenda for tonight’s governing body meeting has been amended to include a resolution retroactively excusing Layton’s absence.

It’s not clear whether Layton formally requested an excused absence.

A member of a politically connected family, Layton was never suspended from his county fire marshal post pending the outcome of the probe.  He used sick and vacation days duirng an extended absence following the dog’s death.

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