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Manahawkin Mayoral Candidate Remains in Ocean County Jail

Mayor reacts to news

The Manahawkin mayoral candidate who was arrested and charged with trying to sell marijuana to an undercover police officer remained in Ocean County Jail this morning.

Thomas J. Litwin, 43, of the Beach Haven West section remained in custody on $50,000 bail. Meanwhile, three other men who were in Litwin's home and arrested and charged on outstanding warrants,  Thomas Ghigliotty, 44, Vincent Giordano, 27, and Ralf Boyd III, 24, have been processed and released.

Litwin is one of two independent candidates taking on incumbent Republican Mayor John Spodofora in the November election. The other is a member of the "We Are Stafford" independent slate of candidates, Paul Marchal. Democrat Joseph Rua withdrew from the mayor's race a few weeks ago. Candidates have until September to withdraw.

Reached this morning, "We Are Stafford," Eric R. Libenschek told Patch that there was some "initial confusion" in certain media reports between Litwin, who is running on the "Litwin Rocks Manahawkin" ticket, and "We Are Stafford."

"We are Stafford" includes Marchal, Dave Taylor, Joanne Sitek, Christopher McManus, Esther Libenschek, Ben Pieper, and Brian Corley White for Council.

Libenschek said that he had only ever heard of Litwin and does not know him personally. He said that since he did not know him, he felt it would be "improper," then to speak on the charges against Litwin, adding "these are two seperate entities that just both happen to be independent." He noted that the "We are Stafford" Team is planning a meet and greet event with the public on Tuesday at 7:30. More details will be available about this event on Patch next week.

Meanwhile, Spodofora told Patch: "I can tell you from holding a political office, that you have to make important decisions one hour after the next, and anyone who would be using drugs would be impaired in their ability to make decisions like those," he said.

While being arrested, Litwin reportedly was heard saying "this is not a bad day for my candidacy," citing other mayors who have been arrested on drug charges, according to one witness.

Rufus O'Callahan August 23, 2012 at 06:13 PM
He possessed marijuana. What an unspeakable crime. He hurt so many people by doing that. Thank goodness the Freeholders spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars building that new wing of the jail, since we can now keep the real menaces to society like this man off the streets. I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief right now, as I imagine everyone else in the world is.
Sean Conneamhe August 24, 2012 at 09:49 AM
"You do not go to jail for being crooked. "You go to jail for being stupid."

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