Saturday, June 29, 2013

State fines Burlington County municipal lawyer $500 for financial disclosure violation.

By letter of June 25, 2013, the Local Finance Board levied a $500 fine against a municipal attorney who omitted sources of income from his financial disclosure filings.  Nicholas J. Costa, who serves as Municipal Attorney for Wrightstown Borough as well as Municipal Prosecutor for several other area towns, must either pay the $500 fine within ten days or appeal the decision within thirty days.

According to the "Notice of Violation" authored by Thomas H. Neff, Chair of the Local Finance Board, Costa earned more than $2,000 from each Florence and Mount Laurel Townships during 2010 but failed to disclose those income sources on his Financial Disclosure Statement.  Filing of Financial Disclosure Statements is required by the New Jersey Local Government Ethics Law.

The Board's investigation was prompted by a March 19, 2012 ethics complaint filed John Paff, Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project.  The Projects seeks to make government agencies and officials more transparent and accountable to the public.

The Board's Notice of Violation and the Party's complaint are on-line here.

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