New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has launched a probe into an anonymous racist flyer in a 2017 Edison Board of Education campaign, Mayor Thomas Lankey said today.
Lankey said he was informed of the inquiry after asking Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone to look into the controversy.
The allegedly fake flyer was aimed at inciting the township’s Asian American community and is also being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspector.
“I have since been advised that the NJ Attorney General is in fact investigating and accordingly the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office is deferring (as it must) to the Attorney General,’ Lankey said in a statement. “We urge the Attorney General to act decisively to help us finally put this matter behind us.”
The mailer – “Make Edison Great Again” – urged voters to “Stop Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel from taking over our school board.”
“The Chinese and Indians are taking over our Town! Chinese School! Indian School! Cricket Fields,” the flyer said. “Enough is Enough.”
The flyer allegedly involves the Edison Eight, a group of local leaders implicated in a conspiracy scandal by the postal inspector. They include: Councilman Ajay Patil, Wilentz law firm partner and Biden delegate Satish Poondi; and Jerry Shi, a school board member who was the target of the mailers.
“We need to let the state, county and our residents know that we will not allow this type of fear mongering and voter deception to continue,” Lankey said. “Those involved must be brought to justice to prevent them.”
Lankey said the flyer “brought shame and embarrassment to our entire Township.”
“With all that is going on in our country, the time is now for the full force of law enforcement to do everything to find out who is responsible for this awful flyer and charge those responsible, as appropriate” the Democratic mayor said.