Superior Court Judge Thomas Brogan has enjoined the Paterson City Clerk from printing and mailing ballots for the May 10 municipal election pending the outcome of a challenge to mayoral candidate Alex Mendez’s nominating petitions.
A supporter of Mayor Andre Sayegh says that enough of the signatures on Mendez’s petition – as many as 150 signatures – would take the controversial councilman below the 867 signatures he needs to be on the ballot.
Brogan has set an April 1 hearing.
“How fitting,” he said of the date.
The city clerk, Sonia Gordon, rejected the challenge from Vincent Iannaccone. That caused his lawyers, Raj Parikh and Harrison Clewell of Genova Burns, to file in Superior Court.
“No ballots are to be sent prior to the resolution,” Brogan said in a brief hearing on Wednesday.
Former Mayor Joey Torres had sought to run, but his prior criminal conviction led to his ineligibility.
Mendez faces voter fraud charges from his 2020 race for city council. His trial is unlikely to begin before the May non-partisan election.
Allegations of stuffing mailboxes with fraudulent vote-by-mail ballots led to the invalidation of the May 2020 election, but Menendez ran again in a September do-over election and won.