Hammonton First members have paid fines of more than $9,000 to settle New Jersey ELEC complaints of late filing of financial and organizational reports for the 2007 and 2008 general elections, the commission announced.

None of the candidates involved, or the campaign treasurer for both elections, Michael J. Messina, admit or deny wrongdoing in their acceptance of the penalties, the Election Law Enforcement Commission said in its consent order and final decision, adopted at its Nov. 26 meeting.

The commission levied $6,200 in penalties against Hammonton First candidates Jerry Barberio, Ed Wuillermin and Tracy Petrongolo, and campaign treasurer Michael J. Messina in the 2007 general election, then reduced the amount to the already received amount of $4,950.

Candidates in the 2008 general election, Tom Gribbin, Sam Rodio and Jeanne Sparacino-Lewis, and treasurer Messina, were charged $5,350 in penalties, then the commission reduced it to the $4,275 already received.

The total amount paid was $9,225, and Hammonton First attorney Brian Howell said it settles all complaints. Howell said donations made specifically to cover the fines were used to pay the penalties.

The commission had charged in complaints brought Jan. 30, 2013, that in both elections, the Hammonton First party failed to file contribution and expenditure information on time, and also were late in filing a Joint Candidates Committee – Certificate of Organization and Designation of Campaign Treasurer and Depository, as required by the New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act.

Barberio is now the town’s business administrator and public works supervisor. Rodio is currently deputy mayor.

Gribbin and Wuillermin were recently elected to Town Council and will take office in the new year.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:

609-272-7219