Campaign finance reports show that Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis took money from the Suez Water PAC in 2015 and 2017, contrary to what he said on Monday, and his campaign is placing the blame on a political friend turned foe: Joe DeMarco.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We’ve heard nothing from Mayor Davis himself for the longest time, and as soon as he chooses to comment he lies to us,” Board of Education Trustee Jodi Casais, a council-at-large candidate running with mayoral challenger Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski, said in a statement.
“Silence on an important issue is disrespectful, but not telling the truth about political contributions is low, even for this administration’s standards.”
Filings with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC) show that the Suez Water Inc. New Jersey PAC donated $1,000 on October 10th, 2015, in a quarter where he raised $26,540, and then $2,500 on April 24th, 2017 – quarter when he raised just $1,600.
On Monday, in response to Casais slamming him and Suez over a mailer touting the company’s partnership with the city, Davis definitively said he’d never taken money from Suez and never planned to, as HCV first reported.
After his campaign was told of the ELEC reports that said otherwise, Davis claimed that he was “completely unaware” the contributions had been made and blamed them on DeMarco, a former city business administrator and campaign manager for the mayor.
“I was completely unaware that Joe DeMarco, who is now supporting my opponent, solicited these contributions without my knowledge. I want to make it clear that I never had any intent of receiving financial support from Suez, and therefore I will be contributing the money to a local charitable organization,” he exclaimed.
“I fired DeMarco last year because I felt that I could not trust him to represent the city’s best interests, and this is another example of why that was the right decision.”
He added that the $3,500 in Suez contributions will be donated to The Windmill Alliance, a local 501(c)(3) charity that helps developmentally disabled adults in the community.
DeMarco, largely credited for Davis’ wins in 2014 and 2018, also served as the city’s special redevelopment counsel until November when he was resigning and Davis wished him well.
“The fruits of his labor can be seen throughout the city. Joe has been an incredibly valuable contributor to Bayonne and I wish him only the greatest of success with his future endeavors,” he said at the time, giving no indication that he had fired him.
He was also eager to return fire this morning, lobbing an accusation that Davis had previously taken a trip to Florida at Suez’s expense.
“I’m amazed at Jimmy Davis‘ response regarding contributions from Suez. First Jimmy said he never took a contribution from Suez. When confronted with the cold hard fact that he received at least two donations from Suez he doubles down and lies again and states that I solicited the donations,” he began.
“I am curious if Jimmy is going to lie for the third time when confronted with the trip to Florida that he and two of his buddies took at the expense of Suez.”
A spokesman for the Davis campaign said that the Florida trip referenced was in 2015 and the mayor used zero taxpayer resources for the trip, paying for his flight and staying at a friend’s condo.