When John Costello was hired as the new Director of Public Works for the small island town of Brigantine, NJ, he was expected to maintain the status quo and enjoy the ride at taxpayers' expense. Costello instead began an earnest effort to clean up the city, which resulted in an immaculate town filled with delighted residents. Unfortunately, in the process, Costello also uncovered widespread corruption and abuse among Brigantine's elected officials and municipal employees. Corruption, theft and misconduct were only the tip of the iceberg. Costello also uncovered problems that endangered the health and safety of the island's residents, only to be ignored by city officials. Not content to turn a blind eye, Costello set about putting a stop to the rampant municipal malfeasance on his own. But by refusing to play ball, Costello had threatened the power of the ruling elite and suddenly found himself the target of a political lynching. Longtime friends and allies turned their backs as his enemies swarmed. Politicians, city employees and union officials conspired not only to remove the popular Director of Public Works, but also to ruin his credibility in case his allegations became public knowledge. Sensationally accused in the news media of a horrible and bloody crime, Costello was publicly vilified and forced from his position. In his subsequent whistleblower suit against the city, Costello listed in detail the abuses and corruption he had discovered. When his enemies realized that they could not intimidate him with the loss of his position and reputation, they paid John Costello over a million dollars to withdraw his complaint and go away. This is the story that the city of Brigantine paid to keep under wraps.