A Bronx judge ruled today that Councilman Fernando Cabrera could stay on the ballot in his primary challenge against State Senator Gustavo Rivera, tossing the case because Mr. Rivera’s team failed to properly serve a subpoena to a petition carrier for Mr. Cabrera who allegedly collected fraudulent signatures.
Mr. Rivera’s attorneys maintained that Mr. Cabrera’s nominating petitions–many of them traced to a single carrier–were riddled with several hundred illegal signatures from registered Republicans and deceased persons. Bronx Supreme Court Justice John Carter, however, determined that the lawyers failed to properly date and deliver a subpoena to the carrier in question–and were unable to prove that the woman still worked for the Cabrera campaign.
“It is clear the petitioner has failed to wholly meet his burden,” Mr. Carter wrote in his decision to throw out the case.
Mr. Rivera’s camp indicated they would not appeal the decision, even though they maintained Mr. Cabrera was guilty of petition fraud.
“While the judge refused to consider a number of our objections on technical grounds, this much is certain: Fernando Cabrera’s campaign repeatedly forged petition signatures from voters who testified that they had never signed; and callously signed under the names of deceased people,” said spokesman Karthik Ganapathy. “This fraud, like Mr. Cabrera’s decision to illegally transfer taxpayer money into his campaign account, show just how little actual support he has for this race, and it’s yet another reason he will fail to win this seat for the Republicans on Primary Day.”
On viewing Mr. Cabrera’s petitions, the Observer a number of similar-looking signatures collected along Andrews Avenue, nearly all of them gathered by the carrier Mr. Rivera’s team attempted to subpoena.
Mr. Cabrera did not immediately respond to requests for comment.