A complaint alleging election fraud by Toms River Democratic mayoral candidate Jonathan Petro was filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission today by an attorney representing the Republican nominee, Mo Hill.
The complaint alleges that Petro and Toms River Democratic leader Ryan Protter conspired to send a letter from a fictitious entity portraying Hill of “inappropriately colluding: with the Orthodox Jewish community to approve a controversial zoning change.
“My opponent and his Democratic organizers have acted illegally in their attempts to deceive Toms River voters and to further divide the community over a sensitive issue for their own political and financial gain,” said Hill, a four-term councilman and retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral. “This type of conduct has no place in Toms River politics.”
In a letter to the Ocean County Board of Elections, Hill attorney Jason Sena said that Protter “surreptitiously rented a mailbox at a UPS Store under the name of a nonexistent entity for the purposes of causing illegal campaign literature to be distributed to residents of Toms River for that was intended to solicit votes” for Petro.
“The campaign literature at issue was illegal and an attempt to hurl baseless allegations at my client anonymously so that the one or more of the political organizations named in the Complaint could make anti-Semitic statements outside the public eye and avoid and the reporting requirements of the Campaign Contributions Expenditures Reporting Act,” Sena wrote.
The Hill campaign has asked the Ocean County Prosecutor and the U.S. Attorney to launch an investigation, and wants the Board of Elections to suspend Protter from his post with them until the probe is completed.
According to the compliant, Petro violated a state law that requires transparency in political communications and campaign finance.
Protter did not immediately respond to an 11:04 AM call for comment. Petro has not responded to an 11:24 AM message left at his law office.