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Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Holmdel). New Jersey State Assembly Photo.

Ethics panel sets hearing DiMaso ethics complaint

Houghtaling and Downey allege GOP spoofed their number

By David Wildstein, August 21 2018 12:40 pm

The New Jersey Joint Committee on Ethical Standards has scheduled a September 18 hearing on an ethics complaint filed last month against freshman Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Holmdel).

Two Monmouth County Democratic legislators, Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune) and Joann Downey (D-Freehold), allege that a robocall DiMaso recorded following their vote on the state budget violated the Truth-In-Caller ID Act when an automated dialing system was programmed to spoof their phone number as the originator of the robocall.

Two Democratic legislators have filed complaint against Republican Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso alleging that a robocall she recorded attacking them earlier this month spoofed their district office phone number.

Houghtaling and Downey also filed complaints with the state Attorney General and the Federal Communications Commission.

DiMaso’s robocall, delivered to some voters in the neighboring 11th district, criticized the Democrats for their support of the state budget.  The calls were paid for by the Assembly Republican victory caucus.

The allegations against DiMaso are potentially serious.

In 2014, the state indicted a Republican political operative working for a primary opponent for making 4 AM robocalls that purported to be from GOP legislators Joe Kyrillos, Declan O’Scanlon and Amy Handlin and spoofed the Monmouth GOP headquarters phone number.  In 2012, an aide to former Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano pled guilty to charges that he spoofed the phone number of a Wayne councilwoman.

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