Home>Local>Edison councilman demands resignation of colleague, but not of Bhagia, Poondi

Edison Councilman Joe Coyle. (Photo: Facebook.)

Edison councilman demands resignation of colleague, but not of Bhagia, Poondi

By David Wildstein, March 08 2021 11:04 pm

An Edison councilman who participated in an investigation of a racist campaign flyer without disclosing that he was a witness has been asked to resign by one of his colleagues, Joseph Coyle.

Coyle demanded the resignation of Councilman Ajay Patil, who admitted on a tape obtained by the New Jersey Globe to knowing who was behind the scandal.

He said that Patil was part of the council committee investigating  an anonymous mailer that promised to “Make Edison Great Again” by telling voters the “Chinese and Indians are taking over our town.”

“He had known what happened, and he was a part of it,” Coyle said in a video posted on Facebook.  “He does not deserve to be on the council.  He does not deserve to be a part of our body of government.”

But Coyle never mentioned the two individuals Patil identified as the masterminds of the scandal: Edison Democratic Municipal Chairman Mahesh Bhagia and Satish Poondi, a politically active partner at the Wilentz law firm.

Bhagia is now a candidate for the Democratic nomination for mayor and Coyle has trashed at least one of his primary opponents.

Coyle accused Patil of wasting taxpayer money on an investigation without disclosing that he knew Bhagia and Poondi were involved.

He accused Patil of “completely pointing the finger at him from day one about this, and when he learned more information from the committee of the whole, he was pointing at him even more.”

Reached at 9:23 PM, not long after he released his statement on Facebook, Coyle said he was on another line and would return the call in 10 minutes.  He never called back and attempts to reach him by phone and text message were unsuccessful.

Later, Coyle appeared to have disabled the video.

Patil did not respond to a call seeking comment.

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