The day after the Bergen County prosecutor accused the Elmwood Park mayor of tampering with the 2017 and 2018 elections, a Republican candidate for mayor wants four members of the borough council to resign so that voters can fill the seats in an untainted election this year.
Maggie Giandomenico, who lost her council seat last year in an election the prosecutor says included mail-in ballot improprieties, says that the legitimacy of those elections “must now be called into question.”
“In light of the deep public concern being expressed by voters throughout our town, Council members Lorraine Pellegrine, Sandra Balistreri, Denise Ingui and Doris Wechtler must accept that they were each elected under a cloud of suspicion, in their respective elections,” said Giandomenico, now a candidate for the GOP mayoral nomination.
Francisco Caramagna, also the Democratic municipal chairman, resigned as mayor yesterday but claims he is innocent of the charges.
“The legitimacy of each of those elections must now be called into question,” Giandomenico said. “With many unanswered questions, the results of both the General Elections in 2017 and 2018 – in which four members of the Council were elected – are now being called into question by the very voters who believed their voices were being heard and their votes properly cast.”
Democrats won the 2017 and 2018 elections by margins that exceeded the vote-by-mail ballots cast, election records show.
Giandomenico called the charges against Caramagna “a sad time for the Elmwood Park community.”
The changes brought by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office against Caramagna refers to three elections: the June 2017 Primary; the November 2017 General; and the November 2018 General.
Giandomenico is asking for the resignations to allow the voters of Elmwood Park to hold a fair and honest election in November of 2019, with proper Attorney General oversight, for all four seats, where all doubt can be removed about the legitimacy of the elections in which these Council members were chosen.”
Caramagna did not pick up an 8:42 AM call seeking comment.