Francesco Caramagna, who resigned as mayor of Elmwood Park last month after being charged with election tampering, is pushing Democrats to put his wife into an open borough council seat, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
The Elmwood Park Democratic Committee voted last week to submit Vittoria Caramagna to fill the council seat vacated by the new mayor, Dan Golabek.
Caramagna is the Democratic municipal chairman and has given no indication that he will step down from the post.
The part sent two other names to the council for consideration: Caramagna’s son-in-law, Riccardo Patane, and 26-year-old teacher Francesco Fasolo. State law requires the political party that held the vacant seat to nominate three candidates to fill a vacancy, one of whom can be picked by the current members of the borough council.
If the council declines to pick one of the three, the seat goes back to the local party organization, which may then fill the seat.
Sources told the Globe that Vittoria Caramagna is the strong favorite to get the seat, if she gets the votes of three councilwomen who are allies of the former mayor: Sandra Balistrieri, Lorraine Pellegrine and Doris Wechtler. That would give her three of the five votes needed to win.
Caramagna remains unopposed for re-election in the June 4 Democratic primary, although he is widely expected to drop out of the race.
The Caramagna-led party organization will then pick a replacement candidate for mayor. The deadline is September 12.
Fourteen of the twenty county committee members were present at the May 23 meeting, including Caramagna and his wife.
Caramagna’s attorney, John Bruno, declined comment.