Superior Court Judge Michael Kassel has dismissed a lawsuit filed yesterday by two Camden County freeholder candidates who were knocked off the ballot for the June Democratic primary.
The county clerk’s office refused to certify the petition of Jerome Taylor, Sr. and Jennifer O’Donnell for freeholder after finding signatures on their nominating petitions to be fraudulent. Deputy county clerk John Schmidt said that a law enforcement agency investigation found that the signatures were “ill-gotten.”
Taylor withdrew from the race on Sunday and his committee on vacancies named Michael Lovett as the replacement candidate. The clerk’s office has rejected the candidate switch.
“The conclusion by Judge Michael Kassel to dismiss this case without the county even having to represent itself or weigh into the matter further underscores the meritless claim that was put forward by these litigants,” said Dan Keashen, a spokesman for Camden County. “Again this was a case that was used to defend a fraudulent act investigated by the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office in regard to faulty signatures for a petition to be placed on the ballot. The Camden County Clerk’s Office fully respects the decision of the court and will move forward with the ballot process.”