ELMWOOD PARK, NJ - Mayor Francesco Caramagna resigned on April 28, a day before he was charged with interfering with the secrecy of the 2017 election process, the same election in which he became mayor.

Caramagna, 74, was the first Democratic mayor in 47 years and was inaugurated on November 9, 2017. His term was set to expire on December 31, 2019. Prior to his election as mayor, he was a councilman for 15 years.

Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of Caramagna after an investigation that lasted less than a month, beginning in early April this year. 

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In early April of 2019, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office received a complaint against Caramagna alleging "he interfered with the election process with regard to applications for Vote by Mail Ballots in the 2017 mayoral election in Elmwood Park, NJ."

Prosecutor Office detectives conducted an investigation which revealed that "during and between March of 2017 and November of 2018, Caramagna, a mayoral candidate, had interfered with the secrecy of the election process by completing portions of the Application for Vote by Mail Ballot, Primary Election Ballot Certifications and General Election Ballot Certifications of registered voters" in the borough. 

It is unclear if the tampering would have changed the outcome of the election, although it was a reportedly close election with Caramagna leading by just three votes before mail-in ballots were counted.

As a result of the investigation, Caramagna was charged on April 29 with one count of Interfering with the Secrecy of the Election Process, a 3rd degree crime. The former mayor is scheduled for a first appearance in Hackensack on May 22.

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