A judge has ruled against providing injunctive relief for Luis Gutierrez, the campaign manager of North Bergen mayoral hopeful Larry Wainstein, in his voter fraud suit against dozens of Mayor Nick Sacco’s allies. However, both sides are declaring victory in light of this court decision.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
New Jersey Superior Court of New Jersey Judge Mary C. Jacobson denied injunctive relief to Gutierrez, who is represented by Mario Blanch, ruling that there was not enough evidence to show that state intervention – via the Attorney General’s Office – would be necessary to prevent voter fraud.
Additionally, according to Blanch, she revealed that both the state Attorney General’s Office and the NJ Division of Elections are investigating the voter fraud claims made in Gutierrez’s lawsuit – which was unveiled at press conference on Monday.
Hudson County View has also learned that six state troopers have been assigned to the polls for the May 12 municipal elections in both North Bergen and West New York.
The injunctive relief looked like a long shot after the state Attorney General’s Office recommended that Jacobson dismiss the complaint on May 1.
Gutierrez told Hudson County View in an email that although injunctive relief was denied, he was “pleased” with the way things went down in court.
“I am pleased with the judge’s ruling today. As the investigations by the Attorney General and the Division of Elections take their course, the people of North Bergen will ultimately be triumphant in getting an election that truly reflects the people’s choice and not those of a selected few.”
Wainstein also expressed his satisfaction with Jacobson’s ruling.
“North Bergen will finally see an open, honest election, where voter fraud and intimidation are nonexistent. I welcome the New Jersey State Police in their oversight of this election,” he said in a prepared statement.
“Sacco has used these elections throughout the years to harass and intimidate the will of the people. When these dual investigations are over, I am sure there will be further visits and indictments conducted by the Attorney General’s Office.”
Predictably, Paul Swibinski, Sacco’s campaign manager, who has been on a warpath this week in going after Wainstein’s camp, saw the result in a much different way.
“With the election on Tuesday fast approaching and the ship sinking, Larry Wainstein decided to turn to the last refuge of the desperate candidate — crying voter fraud and yelling for help from law enforcement,” Swibinski said in an email. “Just like most of his other sloppy work, this Mario Blanch-led lawsuit has failed.”
Swibinski also pointed out that requests made in the lawsuit, such as personally selecting “deputies” to oversee polling sites, choosing the locations of voting machines, and banning more than one individual in a voter booth under all circumstances, were part of the injunctive relief which was denied.
“Considering Lying Larry’s crew of criminals and ex-convicts that will be out in the streets on Tuesday, we welcome additional police presence and would be thrilled to see a cop on every corner,” he added, also stating that the case has now been redirected to Hudson County Superior Court.