ROSELLE — Four borough residents have filed an ethics complaint against Councilman Jamel Holley, citing his admission to charges that he violated the absentee voting law by illegally influencing voters in the 2006 primary election.
George Williams, Annette Hubbard, Maria Hagner and Jeanette Lewis signed the complaint asking the Local Finance Board to hold Holley accountable for crimes with which he essentially got away when they were the subject of the criminal justice system.
Although Holey escaped jail in connection to the ballot fraud incident, he did waive indictment and agree to be charged by accusation with a third degree crime.
“The charge is the result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau,” said the four citizens. “Mr. Holley admitted to the charges.”
They say that Holley violated the public trust be engaging in criminal acts, lying about his unlawful deeds and using false statements to escape responsibility. Dozens of ballots were improperly handled and at least five voters testified that someone cast ballots for them without consent.
“He cannot claim that he just made a mistake,” said the complaint. “He knew what he was doing, therefore, his conduct is more egregious.”
The ethics complaint notes that in his capacity as an aide to former Assemblyman Neil Cohen, Holley worked on legislation to increase criminal penalties for voter fraud, suggesting that Holley must have known he was breaking the law.
Another resident is mulling an ethics complaint because Holley disclosed he is supporting a 1700- unit apartment complex development at the Roselle golf course while the scheme is still under planning board review.
In a related development, a school board member closely associated with Holley was arrested after he led police on a high speed chase that ended with a potentially deadly car crash. Authorities said Michael Boyd, who was elected with Holley’s support last year, was spotted breaking into vehicles in Cranford.
When police hailed him, Boyd jumped in his car and tried to escape. The chase led into Roselle, where Boyd lost control of his vehicle, which flipped over and required an extraction team. Boyd was being held in lieu of bail on charges of burglary and eluding police.
Holley did not comment on the latest arrest of one of his political allies, joining his treasurer, mentor and himself. Holley is currently on probation for numerous acts of ballot fraud in the 2006 primary election.
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