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Rochelle Park Township Committee candidate Michael Warren. (Photo: Facebook.)

Rochelle Park election contest trial set to start on Jan. 28

Judge declines to hear arguments on whether Democrats should be seated

By Nikita Biryukov, January 15 2021 11:04 am

A Bergen County judge set a date for a Jan. 28 trial over an election contest in Rochelle Park Friday.

There, Republican Perrin Mosca challenged 34 ballots belonging to residents at an assisted living facility in Rochelle Park, claiming they were delivered in violation of the state’s limit on ballot bearers. The nursing home’s administrator on Thursday testified she delivered all 34 of the ballots.

Mosca also challenged 15 votes cast by Democrats and independents, claiming they were not residents of Rochelle Park, after a recount failed to change the four-vote margin between him and Democrat Michael Warren.

Judge Estela De la Cruz declined to entertain arguments on whether Warren and Democratic Township Committeewoman Linda Boniface, who ran just one vote ahead of Mosca, should be seated because their attorney did not provide opposing counsel enough time to respond to the Jan. 14 filing.

The judge said she may hear arguments on whether the two Democrats should be seated in February, but she won’t take up the issue before the Township Committee’s Jan. 27 meeting. The parties’ briefs are due a day before then, on Jan. 26.

John Bartlett, the Democrats’ council, argued Boniface should be seated, charging Republican Delmer Thomas Grigsby’ votes wouldn’t be enough to win him a seat even were the election contest successful, but the judge didn’t budge.

A previous version of this story said Leonard Seaman was council for the Democrats. That was incorrect. He represents Mosca.

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