Joe DeMarco Law Firm’s Donation to Sharon Ashe Nadrowski Campaign Under Scrutiny

Mudslinging is  quite common among politicians. The upcoming municipal election in Bayonne, New Jersey, featuring Jim Davis and Sharon Ashe Nadrowski, is no different. While it is easy to become overwhelmed and tune out some of the negativity, there is a lot of truth to Davis’s questions, especially regarding the contributions given by Joe DeMarco and the Joe DeMarco Law Firm. Here is more information about why Joe DeMarco’s law firm’s donations to the campaign fund for Sharon Ashe Nadrowski have come under scrutiny. 

Who is Joe DeMarco?

Joe DeMarco is a Cleary, Giacobbi, Alfieri, and Jacobs law firm partner. He primarily focuses on land use issues and commonly represents municipal governments and private clients in negotiations and lawsuits with public entities. In addition to his work as a lawyer, DeMarco served as a business administrator with the City of Bayonne for four years and as a business administrator and assistant town attorney of West New York. This gave him unique insight into  the legal field he works in and the political side of running a city. 

Why Joe DeMarco’s Donation Is Under Scrutiny

In 2021, Cleary, Giacobbi, Alfieri, and Jacobs made a $2,600 donation that helped Sharon Ashe Nadrowski gain control of the Board of Education. The Board of Education subsequently approved a contract with the law firm of Cleary, Giacobbi, Alfieri, and Jacobs in February 2022. To date, that contract has paid the firm approximately $40,000. The Davis campaign is upset because they believe that the law firm’s donation ultimately helped give the firm and Joe DeMarco, the upper hand in landing that considerable contract. The Davis campaign feels that there is a lot of hypocrisy involved in this contribution, and Ashe Nadrowski refuses to publicly speak out about this issue’s details.  

However, much of what has been claimed against DeMarco is false and stems from a defamation countersuit by former city hall member Patrick Leonard. While Leonard’s original suit did result in some action for Sharon Ashe Nadrowski, DeMarco countersued Leonard, citing defamation. As a result, he was awarded $3,000 in restitution.

The suit read, “Plaintiff acknowledges and agrees that no portion of the Settlement Sum shall be distributed to him or counsel for Plaintiff unless and until a check in the amount of three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) has been delivered to counsel for DeMarco herein, said sum being in settlement of the Counterclaim (referred to herein as the “Counterclaim Settlement Sum”) as set forth m paragraph 2 of this agreement.”

However, an important thing to note here is that despite the dismissal of claims against DeMarco, the Ashe Nadrowski campaign was held liable in this suit for the sum of $125,000.

Important Quotes to Consider

As a voter, it can be hard to determine who to trust, especially when both sides are telling two different stories. However, learning about some of the quotes that are being said and researching those quotes can help you better understand the issues in play. Here are a few meaningful quotes from the campaign train to be considered before casting your vote in the upcoming May election. 

“Bayonne voters have a right to know who is funding Nadrowski’s sleazy campaign, but she refuses to come clean,” Davis campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski said. 

“It’s completely hypocritical for Sharon Nadrowski to talk about transparency when she is being backed by Joe DeMarco and a shady web of multiple dark money Super PACs,” Phil Swibinski further said. 

“Are her multiple dark money PACs funded by big developers looking to build in Bayonne neighborhoods? How can anyone trust that she will stand up for residents when she won’t reveal her financial backers? Bayonne voters deserve to know, and we will not stop working to expose Nadrowski’s shady network of dark money and pay-to-play.” 

Other Information That May Pertains to the Dispute

The issue of the Joe DeMarco law firm donating to Sharon Ashe Nadrowski is messy. However, it should be noted that Joe DeMarco was a campaign manager and close advisor to Mayor Jimmy Davis during his 2014 and 2018 campaigns. DeMarco publicly spoke out in favor of and campaigned for Davis to become the Bayonne, New Jersey mayor. However, Joe DeMarco ended up switching sides in 2022 and has since chosen to campaign for Sharon Ashe Nadrowski. No one knows why, though, for his part, DeMarco states that change is needed. However, this shows that there is a lot of bad blood between the campaigns, which may be why this is one of the nastiest political campaigns that the city has seen in some time. Joe DeMarco is no stranger to politics, however, having been a law partner with now state senator Joseph Lagana. 

Shots are always fired when two politicians face off in a highly contested and tight political race. This is most certainly the case as current Bayonne, New Jersey Mayor Jim Davis, seeks re-election against opponent Sharon Ashe Nadrowski. Ultimately, voters will vote on who emerges from this highly contested race as the winner. 

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