Accusations that Franklin Township Council Rajiv Prasad tried to influence a municipal court judge has now spilled over into the race for Somerset County Freeholder, with the GOP County Chairman calling on Democrat Shanel Robinson to call for Prasad’s resignation.
“It’s time for Deputy Mayor Robinson to end her ‘Summer of Silence’ and do the right thing,” said Republican County Chairman Al Gaburo. “Deputy Mayor Robinson knowingly allowed Councilman Prasad to engineer a backroom deal to push through his controversial monument project, and now she is silent again while he abuses the power of his office in an unethical and, perhaps even, illegal way. It’s time for Councilman Prasad to go and it’s time Shanel Robinson to say so.”
The Franklin Reporter and Advocated reported last week that Prasad sough to help a landlord in an eviction proceeding by suggesting that the case be scheduled on a day when Judge Hector Martinez was presiding. Gaburo says that Prasad had initially promoted Martinez as a candidate for municipal judge.
“Councilman Prasad’s actions have long been a out of line and unbecoming of an elected official. It’s bewildering that Deputy Mayor Robinson thinks it’s acceptable behavior,” said Gaburo. “But what else would you expect from someone who embraces the candidacy of corrupt, career politician Bob Menendez? It’s clear Deputy Mayor Robinson has a major blind spot for corruption and lack of ethics…as long as you’re a Democrat.”
The Somerset County Democrats called Gaburo’s move desperate.
“What is it with Republicans wanting to end investigations before they’ve determined what happened? There is already an ongoing judicial investigation into Judge Rodriguez in which actions by Councilman Prasad are being examined,” said Max Blum, the executive director of the Somerset County Democratic party. “Whatever is determined by that process should be reviewed when completed. I understand that Al wants to score cheap political points against a qualified woman veteran who is running for freeholder, but this really smacks of desperation.”
This story was updated at 8:17 PM with comment from the Somerset County Democrats.