The Hudson County Board of Elections is investigating potential voter fraud in Bayonne, specifically pertaining to Republican committee elections that took place in the Peninsula City last week, multiple sources confirmed with Hudson County View.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said that the board of elections were “wrapping up their end of the investigation” involving “at least five people” and they expect the matter to be handed to the prosecutor’s office this week.
Vincent Cuseglio, the Bayonne Republican Committee chairman, told Hudson County View that he did indeed filed a complaint after the June 7 committee elections.
Cuseglio confirmed that he filed a complaint with the board of elections asking them to investigate Michael Alonso, a perennial candidate for office in Bayonne, and Jack Butchko – a recent board of education candidate – for voter fraud.
Recently, Alonso has put his name on the recall petitions for Second Ward Councilman Sal Gullace and Mayor Jimmy Davis.
Cuseglio, a retired private investigator, added that he decided to file the complaint after he felt Alonso and Butchko attacked his wife, Debra Cuseglio, who works for the board of elections, in a small election-style newspaper recently.
“Hopefully they go to jail because of this,” he said.
Alonso and Butchko did not immediately return calls seeking comment, but Alonso sent out a press release earlier today asking both Cuseglios to step down from their posts.
“Debra Cuseglio has routinely violated state and federal laws by passing confidential information to her husband on a regular basis. I’m sure our attorney is contacting the Attorney General. Officials in the county
must follow the state ethics laws and conflict of interest laws,” he wrote.
“She is passing Information to her husband that he — a political party chairman — has no right to obtain and should have no access to. It is also a known fact in Bayonne that Debra Cuseglio has long coveted and lobbied for the position of Superintendent of Elections.”
Alonso said that for the Debra Cuseglio needs to resign for the aforementioned reasons, also accusing Vincent Cuseglio of being “corrupt” and even claiming he committed voter fraud.
Vincent Cuseglio brushed off the criticisms as sour grapes, given that Alonso’s candidates got blown out in the elections and says he is well aware he is currently being investigated.
“I really can’t believe that someone would just rattle on about a bunch of stupid allegations. If he has all this stuff, like he’s saying, file a complaint with the board of elections, prosecutor’s office, state police, U.S. Attorney’s Office, etc. … no investigators are knocking on my door, we did nothing wrong.”
One county source added that board of elections employees typically do not oversee elections in the municipalities where they live and specifically that Debra Cuseglio did not have any involvement in the committee elections in Bayonne.
“This is just bringing the party down. People are going to be discouraged from getting involved because of this. It wasn’t even a close election. If he’s saying all my committee people are fraudulent, why wouldn’t you file a complaint?,” Vincent Cuseglio concluded.
He further stated 102 Republican committee seats were up for grabs last week. The Republican committee chair recruited and ran 77 candidates, 69 of which won.
Meanwhile, Alonso’s “Real Republicans” slate ran 45 candidates and won 11 seats, Vincent Cuseglio said, adding that 22 committee races were uncontested.
Ray Worrall, a spokesman for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, said they were not currently investigating the matter and the Hudson County Board of Elections did not return calls seeking comment.