PATERSON, NJ - Councilman-Elect Alex Mendez will not be sworn in to the Third Ward Council seat Wednesday. The ruling, pending an appeal that is expected to be filed by Mendez’s attorney, came from Passaic County Superior Court Judge Ernest Caposela in a hearing that was streamed live and viewed by TAPinto Paterson Tuesday.

Allowing Mendez to be sworn in as scheduled would be “undermining the public trust,” given the fact that the manner in which the ballots were counted is “fraught with inconsistencies," Caposela said. 

While McKoy's attorney argued that allowing Mendez to be seated would cause "irreparable harm," Mendez's counsel, Gregg Paster rebutted that it would be an "extraordinary and unprecedented step" and that with several Party leaders coming out in opposition to the outcome of the election the criminal charges Mendez faces "look too political to be clean."

Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

The decision will mean that two of the nine seats will be vacant when the city’s legislative body reorganizes at noon. After two recounts the Second Ward race ended in a tie between incumbent Shahin Khalique and Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman.

While Caposela did not rule on a petition to invalidate the election, he did hint that his decision to not allow Mendez to assume the position may portend a ruling in this regard as well.

Follow us on Facebook and sign up for TAPinto Paterson E-News alerts to be the first to read about all things Paterson!

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS for breaking news, traffic/weather alerts and special offers.

Know a story we should share with readers? Email editor Steve Lenox and tell him about it.