Home>Highlight>Top Democrat charged in strip club bribery scandal will face local probe

Sayreville Democratic Municipal Chairman Thomas Pollando. (Photo: Thomas Pollando/Facebook).

Top Democrat charged in strip club bribery scandal will face local probe

Mayor asks for independent investigation into Tom Pollando’s actions as Sayreville Economic and Redevelopment Agency commissioner

By David Wildstein, September 13 2022 5:51 pm

Sayreville will conduct a top to bottom review of Thomas Pollando’s involvement in municipal government matters following his arrest on bribery charges involving a local strip club, Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick said on Tuesday.

Pollando resigned as the Democratic municipal chairman and as a commissioner of the Sayreville Economic and Redevelopment Agency (SERA) after Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone charged him with accepting thousands of dollars in cash from the owners of XXXV Gentlemen’s Club (Club 35) in exchange for using his political influence to help their owner fight charges of money laundering and promoting prostitution.

Kilpatrick, a Democrat, asked the borough council to hire a special counsel and auditor to review every action taken by Pollando at the redevelopment agency.

“We’re talking about a significant amount of money, “ Kilpatrick said.  “If there are any improprieties, we can protect the borough.”

According to Kilpatrick, the council will now need to form a committee to find an attorney and auditor who have no political conflicts or past association with Pollando.

The internal probe will also include the Sayreville Athletic Association, which Pollando ran until earlier this month.  The organization receives public funding.

The call for an investigation passed the council unanimously, even though one Democratic councilwoman, Mary Novak, initially objected to the idea.  Two Republicans on the council, Christian Onuoha and Eunice Dwumfour, moved the resolution.

Councilman Vincent Conti, a longtime Pollando ally and one of the council’s SERA representatives, is the new athletic association president.  Michael D’Addio, the SERA chairman, was recently elected Democratic municipal vice chair after Patti Burch replaced Pollando.  Joseph Ambrosio, the SERA executive director, is the counsel for the Sayreville Democratic organization.

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