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Pictured is Vito F. Cardinale, president of Cardinale Enterprises. Photo credit Tanya Breen/ Asbury Park Press.

As the news was very first broken here on FAA News, a recently filed explosive whistleblower lawsuit reveals allegations of massive collusion between Jackson Mayor Mike Reina and certain big developers in the Township.

Specifically, the suit alleges that Reina coerced the Township's building inspectors to massively "look away" for his important friend - specifically, Vito Cardinale of Cardinale Enterprises - and even threatened to terminate their employment if they didn't do the dirty work they demanded!

The Complaint was filed in New Jersey Superior Court in Ocean County by Kevin Schmalz who served as the Plumbing Inspector and Sub-Code Official until October 2022.

Township Attorney Patrick F. Varga Esq. has now slammed a motion to dismiss (without prejudice) for failure to make discovery.

The lawsuit made references to various records, which include for example: (1) new and amended ordinances; (2) a hold harmless letter; (3) a December 6, 2021 email and response; (4) a June 14, 2021 email; (5) emails from Mr. Wall;(6) Job postings; (7) a February 18, 2022 letter; (8) July 19, 2022 OPRA request and “documents;" (9) an email from Mr. Rudolph; (10) a September 29 letter from Plaintiff; (11) an Email from Plaintiff to Ms. Horta; (12) an October 3, 2022 Complaint filed with NJ Office of Regulatory Affairs; (13) a written discipline; and (14) a letter Plaintiff handed to Ms. Horta.

On January 11, 2024, Township attorneys sent a letter to the Plaintiff's attorney demanding that they provide the Township with copies of all documents, letters, emails, site plans, development applications, permits, and recordings which were referenced throughout the complaint.

The letter demanded that these records be submitted within 5 days, or "we will have no alternative but to file a Motion to Dismiss your Complaint without prejudice."

It is now past the 5 day deadline and the Township has still not received the requested documents.

Court Rule R. 4:18-2 reads in full: when any document or paper is referred to in a pleading but is neither annexed thereto nor recited verbatim therein, a copy thereof shall be served on the adverse party within 5 days after service of his written demand thereof.

Court Rule R. 4:23-5(a)(1) provides: “if a demand for discovery pursuant to R. 4:18 is not complied with and no timely motion for an extension or a protective order has been made, the party entitled to the discovery may, . . .move, on notice for an order dismissing or suppressing the pleading of the delinquent party.” 

"The Plaintiff’s failure to produce these records is prejudicial to this Defendant, as it is inarguable that the Township of Jackson is entitled to review each and every document or paper referenced in the Plaintiff’s pleadings in preparing an answer to Plaintiff’s Complaint," Ms. Varga wrote in her motion filing.

The motion is returnable before Judge Robert Brenner on Friday, February 16, 2024.

As previously reported here on FAA News, the Township's insurance carrier has refused coverage for this litigation, therefore the Township's taxpayers will be footing the entire bill.

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