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West New York Democratic Municipal Chairman Jonathan Casteneda

Roque appeals petition ruling

Fight headed to Superior Court

By Nikita Biryukov, April 16 2018 5:33 pm

West New York Mayor Felix Roque and his fellows running on the Democrats for Hudson County line have appealed Town Clerk Carmela Riccie’s ruling on an objection to petitions filed by the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO).

The appeal reaffirms allegations Roque lawyer Stephen Edelstein argued at a closed-door hearing last week that claim the HCDO’s petitions were circulated without the candidates’ names, which are required to appear on petitions by state law.

Edelstein hopes to have Jonathan Castañeda, the aide Roque lawyers have accused of fraud at the center of the dispute, to testify. Riccie sent Castañeda a subpoena ordering him to appear at the hearing last week, but Castañeda told the clerk in an email that he would be unable to attend the proceeding, citing a lack of adequate notice and a need to speak with counsel.

HCDO attorney Steven Kleinman declined to comment on the appeal, saying that he needed to discuss the issue with his clients and would respond as needed in the courts.

Edelstein could not immediately be reached for comment.

Edelstein West New York complaint
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