State AG’s Office charges Holley by accusation with violating absentee voting law

The state Attorney General’s Office today “charged by accusation” Roselle Borough Council President Jamel Holley with illegally filling out a portion of the absentee ballots of voters in the 2006 Democratic primary for Borough Council, according to Attorney General Anne Milgram.

Holley, 29, of Roselle, allegedly violated the state’s absentee voting law, a third-degree crime, saidCriminal Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni.

The council president, a political protege of former Assemblyman Neil Cohen and a foe of Roselle Mayor Garrett Smith,waived his right to be indicted by a grand jury and agreed to be charged by accusation. The accusation was entered before Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier in Mercer County, according to the AG’s Office.

The accusation charges that Holley “tampered with absentee ballots by completing portions of the absentee ballots of at least 20 voters, contrary to the absentee voting law, which seeks to ensure the secrecy of balloting and prevent any improper influencing of voters. The charge is the result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau.”

According to the AG’s Office’s release, “Holley campaigned for candidate Rosemarie Bullock. His support included registering voters and encouraging them to vote by absentee ballot. The investigation revealed that Holley contacted prospective voters to see if they had received their absentee ballots. If they had, Holley went to their homes and allegedly illegally assisted them in completing the ballots.”

If convicted, Holley would be required to forfeit his position as a borough councilman. The charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

State AG’s Office charges Holley by accusation with violating absentee voting law