Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are interviewing Dover Democratic leaders and volunteers today about local politics, including questions about undocumented immigrants voting in the 2018 primary election, two sources confirmed.
FBI agents appeared at the homes and workplaces of several local officials this morning, the sources said.
Among those questioned were supporters of Dover First, an insurgent group that won control of the local Democratic party last June and ousted three incumbent aldermen.
One of the defeated incumbents, Ronald Camacho, alleged voter fraud after Carlos Valencia beat him in the primary by twelve votes.
Following a four-day trial, Superior Court Judge Stuart Minkowitz upheld the primary election results after hearing testimony from nineteen witnesses.
“There has been no evidence that there was an effort to fraudulently construct or produce votes,” said Minkowitz in September. “There was no indication that any voter was forced or compelled.”
Mayor James P. Dodd, the leader of the ousted faction of the local Democrats, said he was not aware of FBI agents in Dover today.
“It’s news to me, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were here,” Dodd told the New Jersey Globe. “Some of the things they did were blatant.”
Dodd said he did not file a complaint with federal law enforcement officials.
“I did not. I don’t know if anyone else did,” Dodd said.
Sources said that some of the individuals interviewed discussed “other corruption issues” with the FBI.
“We are cooperating with authorities. We are not hiding anything,” Dover Democratic municipal chairman Edward Correa told the Globe. “We are transparent. We didn’t do anything wrong. We’ve got nothing to hide.”
Dover First sought to topple the local party organization amid complaints that the mostly white leadership did not reflect a community that is 69.4% Hispanic.
They won 19 of 24 county committee seats last year after winning Morris County Democratic chairman Chip Robinson gave them the organization line. Correa’s predecessor, alderman James Visioli, lost his own county committee seat to Mario Rodriguez by 24 percentage points.
Camacho sought to invalidate enough vote-by-mail ballots to force Minkowitz to either overturn the results or order a new primary.
In the end, Minkowitz invalidated just one VBM ballot.
“You have no basis of support of your basis of allegation, you want to question her to see if you can come up with a basis,” Minkowitz told Camacho’s attorney, Alan Zakin.
“We don’t have any facts we can prove,” Zakin said. “We have a belief”
“A trial is not a fishing expedition,” the judge said.