The Township of North Bergen is questioning why the NBC I-Team would include a local police officer in an investigative report on potential voter fraud, given that he hasn’t voted since 2014.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
â€œ[NBC was] told that Detective Francin has not voted in many years and no longer considers himself a voter,â€ North Bergen spokesman Paul Swibinski said in a statement.
â€œBut they decided to go ahead and smear this officerâ€™s good name anyway just to advance their phony story. Using a person who hasnâ€™t voted anywhere in five years as a prime example of ongoing voter fraud is either the height of journalistic incompetence, an obvious political bias, or just plain arrogance.â€
The I-Team, which has reported on about a dozen stories detailing instances of alleged corruption in North Bergen dating back to last year, aired a story on September 20th that focused on three public employees who work and vote in the township but live outside of North Bergen.
One of whom is Police Det. Marc Francin, who has been with the department since 2001.
According to the report, Francin is registered to vote out of a Bergenwood Avenue complex that his parents owned until 2010 and he voted out of that address 14 times.
The I-Team also identified a home in Saddle Brook owned by Francin and neighbors in both municipalities said they were under the impression he lived at each address.
However, the township has taken umbrage with a follow-up report that aired on Monday, since Francin was mentioned again, but it was not stated outright that he had not voted since 2014.
â€œWhen veteran journalists deliberately omit a key fact, and donâ€™t care about the damage their dishonest reporting causes, this so-called I-Team more closely resembles a Lie Team,” Swibinski said.
Both U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office declined to confirm or deny if they were investigating any claims of voter fraud in North Bergen.
Additionally, former Newark FBI Special Agent in Charge Tim Gallagher told NBC that the allegations presented were serious since public servants were involved and being used to “sway elections.”