Wildwood's current mayor, current city commissioner, and former mayor have all been indicted by a state grand jury in connection to "their allegedly fraudulent participation in the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP)."
New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin says the grand jury has decided that criminal charges should be filed again Mayor Pete Byron, 67, former Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr., 72, and current City Commissioner Steve Mikulski, 57, all of Wildwood.
According to Platkin:
"They are each facing four counts: second-degree official misconduct, second-degree theft by unlawful taking, third-degree tampering with public records, and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records. The defendants were charged by complaint in June 2022 in an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) that began with a referral from the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits."
All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Platkin says all three enrolled in the SHBP, but " were never eligible because they were never 'full-time' employees as defined by state law. He added, "They did not receive vacation, sick, or personal days, and maintained no regular schedule."
The charges are accusations and all three are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.
If found guilty, all three could face fines and/or prison time.