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New Jersey Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Rabin. (Photo: Zoom/NJ Globe.)

McCormick a no-show at hearing on her petitions; judge will rule by tomorrow

By David Wildstein, April 12 2021 2:29 pm

Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Rabin will decide on Tuesday whether shadowy perennial candidate Lisa McCormick may remain on the ballot as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Rabin heard more than four hours of testimony witnesses and election officials after allegations by the New Jersey Democratic State Committee that McCormick’s nominating petitions were largely fraudulent.

McCormick skipped the hearing and did not respond to a subpoena sent to her by Raj Parikh, an attorney for the state party.

Her alleged campaign manager and controversial life partner, James Devine, sent an email to the judge saying he had been locked out by his landlord and could not communicate.

“They have intentionally skipped being at this hearing,” Rabin said.

But Rabin declined to accept Devine’s letter as part of the record, saying he had no evidence that he was an interested party.

Parikh and others, including State Sen. Joseph Cryan (D-Union) and Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign, has asked that law enforcement investigate the petitions.

Several witnesses, including West Milford Democratic Municipal Chair Melissa Brown Blaeuer. Montclair Councilwoman Robin Schlager, and former Edison Demcoratic Municipal Chairman Shariq Ahmad, testified that although their names were listed as signatories, they never signed McCormick’s petitions.

George Losse, a technology specialist for the state Division of Elections, said the felt McCormick might have used a mail merge system to obtain the signatures.

“It would be highly unlikely for all of them to line up like they did,” Losse said.

When he saw page signed “First Name Middle Name Last Name” he said: “Oh, isn’t that curious.”

Parikh also told the judge that at least two signatories were deceased.

One, Ahmed Bulbulia, a Seton Hall law professor, died on January 28, 2015.

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