ATLANTIC CITY — The city’s Democratic Committee filed a criminal complaint in municipal court Monday against Mayor Frank Gilliam and his former campaign manager, Richard Winstead.
The committee alleges Gilliam, a Democrat, and Winstead committed theft by unlawful taking when Gilliam deposited a $10,000 check meant for the committee into his own campaign account.
Gilliam has consistently said the check was deposited into his account by mistake. He returned the money after the committee discovered it was deposited into his account.
Gilliam could not be reached for comment Monday.
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Retired Atlantic City police Officer John Devlin, a member of the committee, signed the complaint Monday and turned it in to municipal court. He said the claim cannot become official until a Superior Court judge signs off on it.
After that, the evidence gathered by the committee will be turned over to an outside agency, because the chief of the Atlantic City Police Department and the judges at the Atlantic City Municipal Court are appointed by the mayor, and therefore have a conflict of interest, Devlin said.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office would most likely conduct the criminal investigation, Devlin said.
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Durwood Pinkett, a city committee member who has openly questioned the handling of the check, said Monday that TD Bank also was added as a defendant in the complaint because that is where the check was deposited.
“Someone (at TD Bank) either wasn’t paying attention or purposely helped the mayor when this check was deposited,” Pinkett said.
Devlin said the investigation by the committee is continuing. One issue they are having is contacting the former committee chairwoman, Joyce Mollineaux, and having her turn over passwords and bank records she still possesses.
Mollineaux was removed as chairwoman earlier this month following a vote by committee members. She could not be reached for comment Monday. The new chairwoman is Gwen Lewis.
“She refuses to recognize the reorganization (of the committee),” Devlin said, adding that Mollineaux could be subpoenaed for the information. “There’s no cooperation here, and there is money missing. It’s a big problem.”