Supporters of West New York Commissioner Count Wiley are pointing to NJ ELEC and payroll records to show why at least one of the plaintiffs involved in a Hudson County Superior Court voter fraud lawsuit against him had political reasons to do so. However, Gina Miranda-Diaz says that isn’t the case.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Gina Miranda-Diaz, who works in the West New York Town Hall as an assistant public health officer, earns $110,000 a year according to payroll records most recently updated on April 2.
Diaz, a North Bergen resident, is part of a joint lawsuit with West New York resident Ernesto Vasquez, alleging that Count Wiley, and/or his wife Beatriz, committed voter fraud due to the couple holding elected office in the neighboring municipalities and having children enrolled in the WNY and NB school systems.
The West New York and North Bergen boards of education are also named in the lawsuit, which was filed on April 2.
Supporters of Wiley have since pointed out that her husband, Manuel Diaz, received a $3,000 payment from Mayor Felix Roque’s re-election campaign on November 24 of last year, according to a filing with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) on January 21, 2015.
The payment was for legal fees and according to public court records, a Manuel R. Diaz that was listed with a Union City office was permanently disbarred in September 1999 for misconduct and misappropriation of clients’ funds.
Speaking with Hudson County View on the phone, Gina Miranda-Diaz said she would not directly react to the notion that she is a plaintiff on the lawsuit for political reasons, but was happy to explain why she thought legal action was necessary against the Wileys.
“Years ago, I came to North Bergen, I registered to vote in North Bergen, and I paid taxes in North Bergen, even though my son went to a private school,” she explained.
“I’m still paying taxes to educate students in North Bergen. On the documentation [in the lawsuit], she [Beatriz Wiley] says she lives in North Bergen and he [Count Wiley] says he lives in West New York. I can’t imagine a married couple living in two different houses.”
Diaz concluded by saying that, in her opinion, certain inconsistencies in the Wiley household do not add up.
“Don’t tell the voters that you live in West New York when your wife lives in North Bergen, where she’s a committeewoman. Don’t try to perpetuate a fraud for the voters of West New York or North Bergen.”
“If he’s truly an open book, he should be honest and come clean because we all have to pay our taxes and no one deserves preferential treatment in that area,” referring to remarks Wiley made to Hudson County View on the subject earlier this month.
The lawsuit is calls for the West New York and/or North Bergen boards of education to petition the state Commissioner of Education for “repayment of tuition expenditures, since Count and Beatriz Wiley “improperly registered a child in a school district.”
Yesterday, West New York United campaign manager Pastor Ralph Sanchez, Jr. called the lawsuit “frivolous,” on top of being politically motivated.
Pablo Fonseca, the campaign spokesman for Roque’s re-election campaign, begged to differ.
“Count Wiley should step down as commissioner until this investigation is finally done and I think he should remove himself from the ballot because there is an incredible amount of uncertainty where he lives.”
“As things continue to develop, more uncertainty arises from where he and his wife actually live. He should do what’s right for West New York and remove himself from the ballot.”