Longtime South Jersey official pleads guilty in land deal scheme

A longtime municipal official in a South Jersey town has admitted using his official positions to profit on proposed land deal that authorities say essentially netted him a free farm.

Lawrence Durr filled fraudulent ethics disclosure forms that didn’t mention his financial relationship to a developer, state authorities said. The 66-year-old Chesterfield man pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to tamper with public records.

In return for his plea, prosecutors will recommend that Durr receive a 364-day county jail term and four years of probation when he’s sentenced June 17. The jail term would be suspended if Durr successfully completes his probation, and he also agreed to forfeit $250,000 to the state.

Durr, a Republican, was a longtime committeeman, mayor and planning board member in Chesterfield.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.