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Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez at Gov. Phil Murphy's fiscal year 2023 budget address. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Lopez declines to comment on Perth Amboy bribery scandal

City council campaign staffer was charged with bribery yesterday

By Joey Fox, October 27 2022 3:31 pm

Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Perth Amboy) today declined to comment on the bribery scandal brewing in her hometown of Perth Amboy, where a campaign staffer working for city council candidate Jeanette Rios was charged yesterday with offering bribes in exchange for votes.

“Honestly, I really don’t have a comment on that,” Lopez said.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office announced yesterday that Ana Camilo, Rios’ staffer, has been charged with third-degree bribery for allegedly giving voters ShopRite gift cards if they let her fill out their absentee ballots. Rios is running on the Vote for a Better Tomorrow slate with Councilman Joel Pabon and Junior Iglesia.

Lopez said she’s backing a rival slate led by Councilwoman Milady Tejeda, which also has the support of Perth Amboy Mayor Helmin Caba and the municipal Democratic organization. Nine total candidates are running for three at-large nonpartisan seats in the heavily Democratic city, divided into three slates each including an incumbent member of the council.

“I am backing Helmin[’s slate], obviously, yes,” Lopez said.

Caba released a statement earlier this morning calling for the Rios-Pabon-Iglesia slate to suspend its campaign.

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