ELEC files complaint against Hoboken ’09 runoff candidates

TRENTON – Five people, including the former Hoboken mayor who spent time in federal prison after being caught up in the Operation Bid Rig corruption case, have been targeted by the N.J. Election Law Enforcement Commission.

In a 15-count complaint filed Wednesday, ELEC alleged that former Mayor Peter Cammarano, three Council candidates, and a campaign treasurer involved in a 2009 runoff election failed to file required pre-election and post-election reports involving contributions that totaled more than $100,000.

The others named in the ELEC complaint are 2009 council candidates Vincent Addeo, Angel Alicia and Raul Morales II, and treasurer Lucy Truglio.

The period in question was for reports from April 29 to May 26, 2009, for the city runoff election, and ELEC states, for example, that on Oct. 8, 2010, they filed an 11-day pre-election report that listed information for 35 contributions totaling $55,850, including $5,000 each on May 8, 2009 and May 19, 2009 from Solomon Dwek-David Essenbach.

ELEC said that the report was certified as correct by Cammarano, but was not signed or certified as correct by the others.

ELEC said that the candidates did not report on that same filing information on an additional 34 contributions, totaling $38,350.

Dwek was the central figure in the Bid Rig sting, acting as informant – posing as a developer named Essenbach – and eventually being sentenced to six years in jail himself in a bank fraud case.

ELEC in another count alleges that the candidates and treasurer reported for the first time on Oct. 8, 2010, on a 20-day postelection report, information regarding 52 contributions totaling $173,335 as of June 26, 2009, including 45 contributions totaling $125,300.

But ELEC said that they did not report on that 20-day postelection report information on another 26 contributions totaling $58,340 as of June 26, 2009.

ELEC Executive Director Jeff Brindle said Wednesday that the complaint focuses on tens of thousands of dollars reported late or not at all.

While he said he could not say what an ultimate penalty might be, he said that there can be fines of $6,800 per violation.

The filing today sets in motion a process that could be lengthy in which the individuals could waive a hearing or exercise a right to appeal.

And in reference to the fact this complaint involves an election held four years ago, Brindle said, “We don’t give up, no matter how long it takes.”

Cammarano won the runoff election, but only served a month because he was arrested by the FBI in the sting operation.

ELEC files complaint against Hoboken ’09 runoff candidates