Daniel Van Pelt is the New Jersey state Assemblyman arrested today in a FBI sting operation resulting in approximately 44 arrests. Van Pelt is also Lumberton Township, NJ Administrator and a former mayor of Ocean Township. He represents the 9th Legislative District. See video below. See updates below.
Daniel Van Pelt, a Republican, has served as Lumberton’s township administrator since mid-2007. According to PhillyBurbs, his annual salary is $90,000.
The 9th Legislative District consists of Ocean County and Bass River, as well as Washington Township in Burlington County.
Federal charges include accepting bribes in exchange for assisting in getting EPA permits and “other approvals” for a proposed development in Ocean Township.
The complaint said Van Pelt initially met with the witness on Feb. 11 and accepted $10,000 cash during a meeting ten days later at an Atlantic City restaurant. During a subsequent meeting in May, Van Pelt also introduced the witness to an unidentified Ocean Township official. The complaint also said Van Pelt responded to offers of more money by indicating “they would talk” if Van Pelt decided to run for Congress.
Christopher Christie a candidate for New Jersey governor, and his running mate, Kim Guadagno have called on Van Pelt to resign:
Now more than ever, New Jersey needs elected officials who are committed to honesty, integrity and a higher standard of ethics. Assemblyman Van Pelt has failed the people he was elected to serve and has violated their trust,” Christie and Guadagno said. “He has no other choice but to resign immediately and allow the people of Ocean County to elect an official who will put the people before personal self-interest.
Daniel Van Pelt is 44 years old. He graduated Toms River High School East and Trenton State College with a BS in Criminal Justice. He received a Master’s Degree in 1983 in Public Policy and Government from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He married to Stacey Diane in 1996. They have two children, approximately 12 and 9 years old.
Lumberton Township mayor, Mike Mansdoerfer has asked Van Pelt for his resignation as Township Administrator. Van Pelt has so far refused to resign the position. The Township Committee was scheduled to meet today and perhaps make the decision for him. Mansdoerfer said the Committee would give Van Pelt until 2 pm today to make the decision. “The ball is in his court.”
State Assemblyman Brian Rumpf was Van Pelt’s running mate. He also called for Van Pelt’s resignation.
Ironically, Rumpf and Van Pelt co-sponsored legislation in the assembly that would propose an amendment to the state constitution prohibiting people convicted of criminal offenses from holding elected public office.
Van Pelt’s name has been removed from his team’s legislative website, district9senatenj.com.