A number of Democrats from New Jersey, including the president of the Patterson City Council and his campaign manager, Alex Mendez, have been charged with multiple counts of election fraud in connection with the 2020 ward council elections.
As per a report in the Bergen County Record, Attorney General Matthew Platkin has issued a statement confirming the findings of state investigators who implicate 48-year-old Mendez in the unauthorized gathering of ballots and the oversight of the fraudulent mailing of said ballots.
Moreover, investigators have alleged that personnel affiliated with the Mendez campaign participated in the illicit activity of removing ballots from personal receptacles and subsequently tossing away any ballots that were in opposition to their candidate.
Furthermore, involved in the aforementioned case were Yohanny Mendez, the councilman’s spouse, Omar Ledesma, his campaign manager, and Iris Rigo, an advocate.
According to Platkin, “The defendants are accused of attempting to rig an election in their favor and to deprive the voters of Paterson of having their voices heard. The functioning of democracy relies on voters’ trust that their votes count and those votes determine the outcomes of elections.”
The current case stems from the political initiatives undertaken by the Mendez campaign during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Based on the conclusions reached by the Platkin’s Office, a significant proportion of mail-in ballots, collected by individuals affiliated with the Mendez campaign, were found to have been improperly sealed by the electors at the time of submission. Additionally, the state asserts that after the ballots were transported to Mendez’s campaign headquarters, they underwent a review process to determine whether they represented votes in support of Mendez.
As per the attorney general’s office, there have been rumors suggesting that if a voter did not select Mendez, his spouse would allegedly return the ballot and replace it with an alternative mail-in ballot that reflected a Mendez selection.
Moreover, campaign members have been accused of participating in the fraudulent act of completing ballots on behalf of individuals who failed to do so themselves.
Mendez and his co-defendants are currently confronted with additional accusations of witness tampering and involvement in activities designed to sabotage the investigation.
The executive director of the attorney general’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability, Thomas Eicher, stated that the indictment follows a 41-month investigation, which may have been extended due to the tampering allegations.
Eicher expressed gratitude for the extended duration during which the investigating team dedicated their efforts towards gathering evidence pertaining to the possibility of witness tampering. “I’m grateful for the many additional months of work the investigative team invested in pursuing evidence of potential witness tampering,” Eicher stated.
Mendez has contested the allegations and conveyed eagerness regarding his upcoming legal proceedings.
“This is unfair. They rushed to charge me four years ago, and when they knew those charges weren’t working and were going nowhere, they charge me with something else,” ,” Mendez told reporters on Wednesday.
The charges levied against two individuals who were implicated in an earlier case of election fraud, which was originally opened in 2020, have been exonerated. Controversial charges are reportedly forthcoming against Councilman Michael Jackson, who, like Mendez, has maintained his innocence.
In June, “after being detained and accused of voter fraud, the Democrat mayor of North Beach Miami in Florida now faces 15 years in prison.” As we reported at the time.
Anthony DeFillipo, the mayor of Miami Beach, was detained on Wednesday. Voter fraud on three felony counts has been brought against him. Each one of the third-degree crimes charged carries a maximum five-year jail sentence.
An allegation that DeFillipo resided in the Broward County town of Davie was made in a complaint to the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics & Public Trust six months prior to his arrest. According to the North Miami Beach city charter, elected officials must live there.
DeFillipo acknowledged that he had a home in Davie, Florida, but claimed that he only used it as a family residence at the time due to marital problems. He claimed that he resides on his North Miami Beach property. DeFillipo admittedly owns two properties in Davie, according to records.
In July 2022, DeFillipo and his wife paid $1,226,500 for a six-bedroom house in Davie’s Sierra Ranches neighborhood, according to property records in Broward County. He confessed that he is a member of the Davie community’s homeowners association board.
According to an inquiry into DeFillipo, the Democrat mayor moved to his home in Davie.
DeFillipo was charged with traveling from Davie to North Miami Beach to vote in three successive elections in August, October, and November 2022, according to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. Rundle claimed that her agency used mobile phone data to establish that DeFillipo left his Davie residence, went to a North Miami Beach precinct to cast his ballot, and then came back to his Davie residence.