Mayor attempts to coverup residency issue by filing amended disclosure

Roselle Mayor Donald Shaw filed an amended financial disclosure statement that improperly identified his sources of income and renders a confusing, partial and probably inaccurate description of the elected official’s real estate interests.

Shaw did not explain why he failed to make a full and accurate disclosure on the original financial statement, which was filed before the exclusive NJTODAY investigative report about the Roselle chief executive’s purchase and apparent move to a home in Elizabeth.

On the part of the form in which Shaw was required to state the location of real estate, he listed Block: 3402 Lot: 39, which is actually 901 Chestnut Street, owned by Nestor Penaloza.

Councilwoman-at-Large Denise Wilkerson and 4th Ward Councilwoman Cindy Thomas have not commented on the out-of-town residency of Mayor Donald Shaw since NJTODAY’s initial report on April 25.

Nothing in the public property records suggests that Shaw ever had any interest in 901 Chestnut Street in Roselle.

A few weeks after his election as mayor, Shaw sold property at 242 West 4th Avenue to Luis Saguay.

That transaction was completed on November 22, 2020, so there is no reason to list it on the current financial disclosure statement, but if reported then the correct designation would have been Block: 4901 and Lot: 31.

Shaw did list the correct block and lot number for his house in Elizabeth, which has long been the subect of rumor and speculation among Roselle residents.

At the March Borough Council meeting, Shaw strongly condemned the social media poster who offered what he called “a bounty” for information proving the Mayor lived outside Roselle. Shaw threatened to “investigate” the IP address used by the citizen who made the inquiry, which was entirely legal.

Roselle Mayor Donald Shaw’s home at 728-732 Thomas Street in Elizabeth

That property matched Block: 4 Lot: 1560.B, which is the home he promised to make his primary residence at 728-732 Thomas Street in Elizabeth.

That promise was made as part of the mortgage agreement, so if Shaw does not live in the home he bouight then he may be criminally liable for defrauding his lender out of $627,288.

That $627,288 is the amount Shaw borrowed from Family First Funding, a state-licensed mortgage bank headquartered in Toms River, New Jersey.

Residents may look up the fraudulent forms filed by Shaw at the state website.

These amended financial disclosure forms appear to be intended to correct an attempt to coverup Shaw’s Elizabeth home purchase in the previously filed documents, which are required by law for all elected personnel and certain other government officials.

They contain sloppy and incomplete descriptions of Shaw’s income sources, omit his wife’s $85,000 salary from the Rahway public school system, fail to name Union County as his $83,000 employer and lists it only as “Employment” with the government administration building’s address, and attempts to create confusion by listing his primary residents as “rental property.”

On the section pertaining to real estate, Shaw lists an inaccurate block and lot number in Roselle for land for which he never had any ownership, and he omitted the actual address for either the bogus property in Roselle or his Elizabeth residence.

Perhaps Shaw thought nobody would investigate the facts, believed that people are too stupid to see through his web of deception, or was just incapable of answering simple questions on a form—which should raise dire questions about the viability of his mayoralty and county government employment.

Unfortunately, nobody in government—from the County Commissioners who gave him his $83,000 job to the Borough Council members who serve alongside him—has asked or answered about the glaring inconsistencies revealed by this ongoing saga.

For his part, Shaw has refused to respond to text messages, phone calls, emails and messages left with his receptionist at the Borough Hall—even after we flat out called him a coward in these news reports.

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