The Atlantic City Democratic Committee will be filing criminal charges against Mayor Frank Gilliam, after an ad hoc committee’s investigation into how Gilliam’s campaign account wound up with a $10,000 donation meant for the group.
Gilliam had said the deposit was an oversight, and that the check — which was delivered to his headquarters — was mixed in with about seven other checks made out to his campaign.
But the majority of the committee didn’t believe that.
The break in the group caused a no confidence vote against Chair Joyce Mollineaux last month. Then, at its monthly meeting at the Irish Pub on Monday night, 23 of the 44 members voted to oust Mollineaux, along with the vice chair and treasurer Barbara Hudgins.
Mollineaux was not at the meeting, which she called to cancel, according to the Pub’s manager.
Gilliam did not attend the meeting.
Instead, he told BreakingAC earlier in the day that he was going to the “official meeting,” which he said was at El Charro Mexican Restaurant Bar & Grill on Fairmont Avenue.
But, according to Robert’s Rules of Order, the secretary for the executive board is the one that sends out the official correspondence.
And the secretary, Delores Callaway, put out that the meeting was at the Irish Pub.
“Since this is the location that is contained in the notification that was forwarded to Committee Members by the Secretary, it is my opinion that all members should report to that location for the Meeting tonight,” Parliamentarian James Carroll wrote in a memo sent to the committee, and copied to Mollineaux.
Callaway’s sister, Gwen Lewis, is now the new committee chair.
“It really is an honor to be elected,” Lewis told BreakingAC. “I’m going to try my best to do a good job and bring this body together again.”
Council President Marty Small, who had a contentious battle with Gilliam for the Democratic nomination, said he had no comment on the events.
“That’s a situation between Frank and his accusers,” he said.
“Another page in the book of Atlantic City is turning,” said Councilman Mo Delgado. “I’m still in the fight to make Atlantic City better. I’m looking forward to better chapters of the story.”
A letter has been drafted to TD Bank to see how a check made out to the Atlantic City committee could be deposited into Gilliam’s account.
Mollineaux said at last month’s meeting that she took Gilliam’s camp at its word when they said the check deposit was merely an oversight.
Hudgins confirmed that Gilliam wrote the check back to the county group, who in turn, wrote a new check to the city committee.
“Frank’s supposed repayment was not legal,” said Durwood Pinkett, a member of the Executive Board. “The bank was responsible for our money, not necessarily Frank. They have to take the money back from him and give it to us.”
Gilliam has said the check was delivered to his campaign headquarters “without instruction.”
Atlantic County Democratic Committee treasurer Stephen Dicht said at last month’s meeting that, in his years dealing with such checks, the only instruction were the name written in the “pay to the order of” line.
“My job as mayor of city of Atlantic City is to continue to move forward and not get bogged down into the lower level of thinking,” Gilliam said before the meeting.
The meeting came on the same day as a story by InsiderNJ reports allegations that Gilliam failed to report cash donations made at a fundraiser in September.
“In his less than two months in office, Gilliam has managed to turn his supporters against him, intensified the hatred of his enemies, tangled with state monitors, get law enforcement on his tail, and cancel his honeymoon period. His power additionally limited by the state takeover, Gilliam politically is recognized as a dead man walking.”
— InsiderNJ, “EXCLUSIVE: How Atlantic City’s Frank Gilliam Went from Elected to Imperiled”
The story heavily quotes Craig Callaway, who supported Gilliam during the campaign.
Gilliam says he never dealt with Callaway.
“I really have no relationship with him, as you can see,” Gilliam said of Callaway. “We continue to have the same entity disrupting the process from the last God only knows how many mayors.”