Commissioner Count Wiley, West New York Mayor Felix Roque’s main opposition for the May 12 municipal election, is alleging that Roque is playing politics to prevent his annual award dinner for the baseball little leaguers from happening this year. However, Roque’s camp is denying that the claim has any validity.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Wiley says that he was planning this year’s annual event in cooperation with Our Lady of Libera Church in when Roque and his political workers interceded to create a disruption among the parties involved, due to their desire to hold a similar function.
The West New United team also alleges that Roque, along with other political workers, complained to the Archdiocese of Newark to try to get the event cancelled.
Furthermore, Wiley’s team claims that Roque refused to pay his sponsorship monies to the WNY Little League, which equals $1,800
“I’m appalled, better yet, disgusted with the actions of Mayor Roque and his political workers. Only due to this being an election year, they only now want to get involved with celebrating our little league,” Wiley said in a statement.
West New York United commissioner candidate Hector Hernandez, who has coached baseball in West for many years, echoed Wiley’s sentiment.
“These actions are in direct violation of election law as public funds were used to hold the football dinner,” Hernandez said in an email.
Hernandez also called out Roque’s team for handing out footballs that said “Re-elect MAYOR FELIX E. ROQUE MAY 2015” at the annual dinner for the local football teams.
“Politics has no place in any recreation dinner, period. These events are to celebrate the achievements that the children have worked so hard for year round. The parents are upset and disgusted that the Mayor and his administration want to interject election year shenanigans into this matter.”
Roque’s re-election campaign spokesman, Pablo Fonseca, said the accusations made by the West New York United team are baseless.
“I can totally deny we’ve called anyone to stop anything for the common good of West New York,” Fonseca said over the phone.
“We’re glad that Commissioner Wiley is doing something good for the children of West New York, and if possible, we’d like to join him. We’re not going to engage in using children for political gain. The mayor’s always been supportive of the children of West New York.”
Fonseca also stated that he saw nothing wrong with handing out “propaganda” during a re-election campaign.
“We’re running a campaign and we have a variety of campaign propaganda, including literature, that has nothing to do with this event or that event. We’re regularly giving out propaganda for the mayor and his candidates.”