Former Atlantic County official charged with theft, official misconduct

A former Atlantic County Superintendent of Elections official has been charged with theft by deception and official misconduct, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said.
Michael Gibbons,  33, of Stratford, is accused of adding non-worked overtime hours to an employee’s time card around March 14, 2017, while he was deputy chief.
On two of these occasions, Gibbons then solicited the money back from an employee for his personal use, Tyner said.
Gibbons is also accused of using a county vehicle to take employees to Camden County to clean out his mother’s attic. Those employees were allegedly paid with public money.
“Public officials who misuse the valuable resources entrusted to them shake the faith in our system that all of us rely upon for the delivery of various services,” Tyner said. “This case demonstrates that Atlantic County government has an effective system of checks and balances in place which identified the crime and then promptly reported it to our office for prosecution.”
But Gibbons’ attorney says his client is innocent of the charges.
“We suspect that the Prosecutor’s Office, unbeknownst to them, is relying on the word of an untruthful witness with a political ax to grind,” attorney John Zarych said. “He’s an extremely dedicated employee who is absolutely committed to helping the county conduct fair and honest elections. It will become clear that there was no wrongdoing on his part.”
Gibbons is charged with second-degree official misconduct and third-degree theft by deception because the money allegedly stolen was more than $500.
The investigation is being handled by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Official Corruption Unit.