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State v. Boncelet

Decided: November 17, 1969.

THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
CHARLES G. BONCELET, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Kilkenny, Labrecque and Leonard.

Per Curiam

Defendant Charles G. Boncelet appeals from his conviction on an indictment for violations of N.J.S.A. 40A:4-57 and 58 and N.J.S.A. 2A:135-5.

Following a grand jury investigation of the financial affairs of the Borough of Carteret, defendant, a member of the borough council and chairman of its finance committee during the year 1965, was indicted in a four-count indictment. The first two counts charged that between September 1 and December 16, 1965 he, together with three other councilmen, voted to incur liabilities, chargeable to four line items in the budget, in amounts which exceeded the sums appropriated, in violation of N.J.S.A. 40A:4-57 and 2A:135-5. Counts three and four charged that, in voting to transfer funds from two other line item appropriations on December 29, 1965 to make up the overexpenditures cited above, he overexpended the two appropriations by some $834.82, in violation of N.J.S.A. 40A:4-58 and 2A:135-5.

The State's proofs were lengthy and involved. Without detailing them here, there was evidence from which the jury could have concluded that between September 1, 1965 and December 16, 1965 the council, by a majority vote of defendant and three of his colleagues (the latter were separately indicted and tried, see State v. Bohanek, et al. , Docket A-1613-67), overexpended the appropriations of four line items in the 1965 budget as follows:

(a) Recreation, Other

Expenses Account $6,376.71

(b) Free Public Library,

Other Expenses Account 2,408.78

(c) Parks and Playgrounds,

Other Expenses Account 4,343.78

(d) Street Cleaning, Other

Expenses Account 4,197.54

and that on December 29, 1965 they voted to transfer funds from other accounts to make up the overexpenditures, purportedly pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:4-58, which transfers resulted in the ...


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