One day after North Bergen mayoral hopeful Larry Wainstein’s camp announced a voter fraud lawsuit against dozens of Mayor Nick Sacco’s allies, as a result calling for the state Attorney General’s Office to oversee the May 12 municipal election, Hudson County View has learned that the AG’s Office is telling a judge to dismiss the complaint.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
In a 65-page document dated May 1, signed by Acting Attorney General John Jay Hoffman and Deputy Attorney General George Cohen, Superior Court of New Jersey Judge Mary C. Jacobson is encouraged to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Luis Gutierrez – Wainstein’s campaign manager.
“Plaintiff has failed to provide any factual evidence that the Election Defendants will be unable to enforce the required provisions of Title 19 in the May 12 municipal election in the Township of North Bergen,” writes Carol Burton, a legal secretary for the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety.”
“Therefore, Plaintiff’s requests for temporary restraints should be denied and his Complaint dismissed.”
In addition to at least 58 North Bergen voters being accused of fraud, the Hudson County Board of Elections and the New Jersey Attorney General are named in the suit.
Through his attorney Mario Blanch, Gutierrez argues in the lawsuit that state monitors from the state AG’s office are necessary “to stop the cheating” continually being committed by Sacco’s supporters.
However, Burton argues that the instances put forth in the suit do not have the documented proof necessary to warrant action from the AG’s office.
” … Plaintiff alleges unverified voter fraud in prior election(s) in the form of improper voter assistance from district board workers, improper electioneering within a 100 feet of the polling place; ‘voter intimidation’; and ‘spying on how people vote,’ as the basis for his application for injunctive relief,” Burton explains.
“None of these allegations is supported by credible certifications or affidavits, nor are there any such facts provided to support such allegations, such as the date and time the alleged action occurred, who committed the alleged acts or who the district board workers were that allegedly failed to take action.”
As far as the voter fraud aspect is concerned, Burton says that the Hudson County Superintendent of Elections investigated each case of alleged voter fraud in the complaint, and as a result, will have the poll books updated for the May 12 municipal election “to reflect any change in a voter’s registration status.”
She does not go on to say how many cases of alleged voter fraud were or were not valid.
A portion of the document also states that all of the complaints made by Blanch during the North Bergen Board of Education election on April 21 were deemed unfounded by county election officials.
Michael Harper, the clerk of the Hudson County Board of Elections, certified that all the aforementioned statement is accurate.
Phil Swibinski, a spokesman for the Sacco campaign, said the Attorney General’s findings speak volumes about the validity of the lawsuit.
“It shows Wainstein’s lawsuit is bogus and full of lies, even the [state] Attorney General – who is not an ally of the administration – sees that.”
The state AG’s Office are no strangers to North Bergen recently, raiding the Township Department of Parks and Recreation on March 9, and then charging two employees of that department with falsifying timesheets one week ago.
Blanch, who noted yesterday that he has a hearing on the case scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday,
“Obviously I disagree with their opinion and that’s why we have courts of law to decide one way or another,” Blanch said over the phone.
“The AG”s office doesn’t seem to disagree that there is voter fraud, I think their disagreement is with the remedy I’m seeking. Based on the letter, they currently believe they’re doing everything in their power to prevent voter fraud – [they’re saying] there’s already safeguards in place and they’re going to utilize those safeguards.”