Gilliam check

The Atlantic City Democratic Committee says it will pursue charges against Mayor Frank Gilliam over the above check.

ATLANTIC CITY — Members of the city Democratic committee said Monday they would pursue criminal charges against Mayor Frank Gilliam and his campaign manager once an internal committee completes an investigation into a $10,000 check deposited into the wrong account.

The check written in October by the Atlantic County Democratic Committee was intended for the city’s Democratic organization but ended up deposited in Gilliam’s campaign account.

Gilliam has called the incident with the check an oversight — he said he signed the $10,000 check as one of eight that day, didn’t realize who it was written out to, and he has since returned the money.

“This is probably going to be the last time I’m going to speak about something that’s already resolved,” Gilliam said Monday prior to the committee’s decision to pursue charges. “This stuff is getting out of hand.”

Retired Atlantic City police Officer John Devlin, who is on the committee investigating the check, said the group is authorized to sign a formal complaint, but will complete its own investigation first. An attorney has drafted a letter to TD Bank to determine who deposited the check and how it happened, Devlin said.

A party meeting Monday at the Irish Pub included 23 city Democratic committee members, which is more than half of the 42 members that committee parliamentarian Jim Carroll has said the group has in total.

And as a sign of a rift within the organization, the committee also voted to remove members of its leadership: Joyce Mollineaux as chairwoman, along with Enestor Echevarria as vice chairman and Barbara Hudgins as treasurer. None of them attended the meeting.

Neither did Gilliam, who said he would attend a different scheduled committee meeting called by Mollineaux at El Charro restaurant.

Gilliam, before the meetings, said the Irish Pub meeting had no merit and neither did the motions on the agenda, which included the motion to file criminal charges.

But Carroll said the Irish Pub meeting was legitimate, and that “in (his) opinion” members should go to the Irish Pub for the meeting because of a provision in Robert’s Rules of Order that states the secretary, who is Delores Callaway, should inform members of upcoming meetings.”

Callaway informed members of the meeting at the Irish Pub, Carroll said in a memo to committee members.

Durwood Pinkett, a city committee member who has questioned the handling of the check, attended Monday’s meeting. He said he and other members are trying to resolve the incident while abiding by the bylaws and the rules.

“We’ve done everything the right way,” Pinkett said. “This is a sad event for all of us.”

The county committee wrote the $10,000 check to the city committee Oct. 12, and it was deposited into the “Frank Gilliam for Mayor” account Oct. 16, state Election Law Enforcement Commission report filings show.

Michael Suleiman, chairman of the county committee, said at a February city committee meeting he asked county committee Treasurer Stephen Dicht to write the check out to the city committee.

Suleiman said he later got a call from Richard Winstead, campaign manager for Gilliam, asking for the city committee check, and Dicht arranged to meet with Winstead at Gilliam’s campaign headquarters to pass it along.

Winstead said at the February meeting he disputed Suleiman’s account, adding he never called the county committee asking for that check.

In place of the ousted officers, the committee Monday voted Gwen Lewis as chairwoman, Farook Hossain as vice chairman and Emteaj Hossain as treasurer.

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Contact: 609-272-7239 Twitter @ACPressSerpico

Covering breaking news for The Press of Atlantic City since September 2016. Graduate of the University of Maryland, Central Jersey native.

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