HAMILTON, NJ – While charges related to the 2019 mayoral primary campaign were dismissed on Friday, the dispute between Mayor Kelly Yaede and Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri may be far from over. Yaede plans to take legal action against the law enforcement official for filing the charges in the first place, she said through her attorney.

Speaking with TAPinto Hamilton/Robbinsville, Yaede’s attorney, Robin Lord, said that this case represented “unprecedented prosecution.” Lord claimed that she spoke with Onofri as far back as June 2019 to point out that the New Jersey Supreme Court precedent was on Yaede’s side legally and argued against the charges even before they were filed.

“It’s unfortunate that he (Onofri) had to wait for Judge Haley to rule in our favor,” said Lord. “He has poisoned the electoral process.”

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Lord indicated that in the coming days Yaede will file a “notice of tort claim for malicious prosecution” against Onofri. This legal motion typically occurs when the defendant in a criminal or civil case was potentially brought for wrongful purposes. 

In a letter to Onofri on Friday after the charges were dismissed, Lord further noted that “As you know, she (Yaede) is a sitting Mayor, up for re-election in a few short weeks. Even the Department of Justice has a long-standing policy of not filing charges against a politician close to an election out of fear of interfering with the electoral process

“On behalf of Mayor Yaede, I am asking that you issue a public apology immediately in an effort to level the playing field that your frivolous prosecution unleveled,” demanded Lord.

The prosecutor’s office had no further comment on possible litigation.

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