ROSELLE—A spokeperson for Gov. Jon Corzine said that Roselle Council President Jamel Holley should resign because he is facing criminal charges related to widespread absentee ballot fraud in the 2006 Democratic primary.
Corzine spokesman Robert Corrales was quoted in the Sunday Start Ledger saying: “The governor’s position is that any elected official charged with public corruption should step down because they can’t effectively serve the public under the cloud of the charges.”
Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, who is also employed as a Union County undersheriff and was appointed by Corzine as state Democratic chairman, denied that there is a reason for Holley to step aside.
When the crimes occurred, Holley worked in Cryan’s legislative office as chief of staff to former Assemblyman Neil Cohen, who is now facing child pornography charges. After the absentee ballot issue came to light, Holley moved out of the legislative office and into a job at the Union County Office of Economic Development. Sources said the move was made to shield Cryan, Cohen and Sen. Ray Lesniak from any potential impact from the scandal as they sought re-election in 2007.
At last week’s borough council meeting, where a measure requesting his resignation was rejected, Holley said that election fraud is a different crime than other recent widely reported acts of corruption.
An Appellate Division Court severely rebuked Holley’s action in the case that reversed the outcome of the 2006 nomination for council in the borough’s Fifth Ward.
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