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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy appears to favor investigation into Edison Eight cold case

By Nikita Biryukov, March 08 2021 4:31 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy appeared to support an investigation into a 40-month-old case involving racist flyers in a 2017 municipal election Monday.

“I found it at the time to be incredibly offensive, and I hope the persons who are associated with doing it, ultimately, are found,” he said. “And I’m not sure what the price you pay for that is, but they deserve to pay a price because it was really offensive.”

In 2017, voters in Edison received an anonymous mailer that promised to “Make Edison Great Again” by telling voters the “Chinese and Indians are taking over our town.”

The mailer targeted school board candidates Jerry Shi, now a councilman of Chinese descent, and Falguni Patel, the word “deported” stamped over their photos.

A probe by the U.S. Postal Inspector said Shi, Councilman Ajay Patil and six others were involved in creating the mailer, though investigations appear to have stagnated since.

In a tape obtained by the New Jersey Globe, Patil said he witnessed Satish Poondi, a partner at the Wilentz law firm, assembling the mailer at the home of the Democratic Municipal Chairman, Mahesh Bhagia, in 2017.

The Postal Inspector’s probe was transferred off to state officials, and there’s been little visible movement in the case since.

Edison Council President Robert Diehl on Saturday said Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone suggested her office could take the investigation from the State Attorney General.

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