Linden Mayor Derek Armstead on Friday accused State Sen. Nick Scutari, the Union County Democratic Chairman, of intimidating voters in Linden, where the two men are engaged in a feud over County Committee seats.
“This afternoon, I have written to the federal Justice Department, the New Jersey Attorney General and the state Senate Ethics Committee to report what I believe are flagrant civil rights violations committed by Senator Nicholas Scutari, who is on a desperate power trip,” Armstead said. “Senator Scutari’s actions cross a dangerous line and they must stop.”
Armstead said Scutari allies approached some of the county committee candidates the mayor is backing and attempted to persuade them to drop out of the race.
The practice does not appear to be illegal. Scutari did not immediately respond to a call made seeking comment at 11:19 a.m.
“It was a standard technique in the 1950’s, used by racist southern power brokers to shut up black civil rights groups like the NAACP,” Armstead said. “Now these tactics have been revived and improved upon by Senator Scutari, who wants to shut up progressive challengers just like racists once wanted to suppress black political freedom in the Jim Crow South.”