Ramsey Mayor Deirdre Dillon
The Ramsey Gun Range Ban saga continues with yet another explosive development. Last week we were tipped-off by a Ramsey Administration insider that the "pro bono" law firm that Mayor Dillon claims will be defending Ramsey's blatantly unconstitutional ordinance banning gun ranges in the town, is actually run by her husband a partner at the firm. The Mayor of Ramsey may be pushing this gun range ban because she and her husband could personally profit from the ensuing lawsuit if the ordinance is passed.
That's right, after more digging around, we discovered that the law firm that agreed to take Ramsey's case, Troutman Sanders, happens to employ the husband of Mayor Dillon, Hugh McDonald. As you can see from this NorthJersey.com article, Mayor Dillon and her Husband Hugh, have different last names. Below is a picture of Mayor Dillon taking the oath of office with her husband Hugh.
So the firm that Ramsey has hired on a "pro-bono" basis is Troutman Sanders, the employer of Mayor Dillon's husband Hugh. He is listed on their website using the link above. For those of you who didn't want to click, here is his profile from the website. He also previously represented Enron, a company known for its integrity and transparency.
So just what is all going on here?
I know some of you are asking, "But the firm is taking this case pro-bono. What's the problem?"
Well here's the thing about conflict of interest and corruption laws. No money passing hands is necessary for there to be a conflict of interest. As long as the parties involved are getting something of value at some point, some kind of quid pro quo at some point in time. This could take the form of additional business for the firm at some point in the future, even if it is with another town.
For example, the firm defends the town of Ramsey, then gets business from other towns which has value. The husband then benefits because he is part of the firm, even if he never did any of the work. He may be looking for credit for making the firm the go-to anti-gun firm in the area. And as you can see, Mayor Dillon's husband is already getting free publicity from taking this lawsuit, they even mention it on their website! Also, someone else could do the work, and then he gets their work, benefiting indirectly. They don't even have to actually benefit from the relationship. If there is an expectation of a benefit at some point in the future, it's a conflict.
So could this be a quid-pro-quo? You could also argue that there is a quid pro quo because the husband and the wife (Mayor) both benefit, because, his wife could get campaign contributions and potentially gets re-elected because of the effort. So he provides the work for free, and then he benefits personally at home because the income from his wife being the mayor comes in at home.
Several years ago the Mayor of Hamilton NJ was arrested and charged in Federal Court for a similar scheme involving kickbacks for a school insurance policy. His scheme far more obvious and over the top, but similar. Who knows what else we could discover as we peel the layers of the onion back.
Lastly, the biggest question should be why Mayor Dillon went to such great lengths to conceal this connection. It would be different if she announced from the beginning that her husband is going to be a knight in shining armor to defend Ramsey against this blatant illegal and unconstitutional action; however, that was not even close to what transpired here. It seems as though we may have run into something much bigger and we are asking for the appropriate authorities to investigate the issue. We urge our supporters and other concerned citizens to contact the NJ Office of Attorney Ethics and the NJ Attorney General to investigate this issue. You can contact them with the links below:
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