Four men, two of whom are Democratic city council members, have been charged with running a voter fraud operation in the town of Paterson, New Jersey.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced charges of mail-in voting fraud, election fraud, and illegal possession of mail-in ballots against Michael Jackson, Alex Mendez, Shelim Khalique, and Abu Rayzen.
Jackson is an active city councilman, while Mendez is a councilman-elect. Khalique is the brother of another Paterson city councilman, and Rayzen is a campaign operative for Khalique’s brother, Shahin Khalique.
The charges allege that Jackson took it upon himself to pick up completed mail-in ballots from voters in the city and delivered them to the Passaic County Board of Elections. Jackson failed to disclose to the board of elections that he delivered ballots for that he’s a city council member, and in one case, a ballot that he picked up that was unsealed was delivered to the election authorities sealed and completed.
Mendez is also accused of the same form of dishonest ballot harvesting, declining to reveal that he was a candidate for office when dropping off mail-in ballots. He’s also charged with falsifying and tampering with records.
Although they’re rarely enforced, New Jersey laws criminalizing election fraud have strict penalties, and it’s possible that the men could face prison sentences of up to ten years if they’re convicted of the second-degree felonies of which they’re charged.
A state investigation into the recent Paterson city election spurred the criminal charges, with AG Grewal revealing that 20% of the ballots filed in the election were fraudulent.
Second Former Andrew Cuomo Aide Accuses Disgraced Governor of Sexual Harassment
Cuomo has refused to resign.
A second former aide has accused beleaguered New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, speaking the New York Times on Saturday.
Charlotte Bennett served as an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Governor’s office until November of last year, and recounted a series of incidents where she was propositioned about her sex life and the governor’s preferences.
“Ms. Bennett, 25, said the most unsettling episode occurred on June 5, when she was alone with Mr. Cuomo in his State Capitol office. In a series of interviews this week, she said the governor had asked her numerous questions about her personal life, including whether she thought age made a difference in romantic relationships, and had said that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s — comments she interpreted as clear overtures to a sexual relationship.”
Cuomo also allegedly questioned Bennett on her opinions of non-monogamous relationships.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett said. “And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”
Bennett is the second former Cuomo staffer to come public with accounts of sexual harassment. Lindsey Boylan, an ex-Cuomo aide who had previously spoken of toxicity in the establishment Democrat’s office. Boylan alleges that Cuomo asked her to play strip poker on a plane, that his underlings communicated he had a “crush” on her, and that the Governor would frequently touch her back and her arms.
Cuomo is currently facing a possible impeachment or censure from the New York legislature for his cover-up of the state’s disastrous nursing home scandal, in which the deaths of thousands of senior citizens were covered up in order to deflect an investigation from the Department of Justice. Leading Democrats such as Ron Kim have called for his resignation, and it may prove the new sexual harassment allegations could be the final straw.
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