NEWARK, NJ - Mayor Ras Baraka recently made a holiday trip to Ghana, where he says he met with local officials and conducted other business, but the mayor did one other important activity.
The mayor participated in a Ghanaian "union of families" ceremony, which means people in that country now consider him to be married, Baraka said. The Dec. 30 ceremony isn't recognized in the United States since there is no marriage license, he added.
But the 48-year-old mayor told TAPinto Newark today with a smile, after an unrelated press conference, “I am going to get married.” He did not give a date for when the nuptials would take place.
Linda Jumah is known to be the mayor’s girlfriend. The mayor said the soon to be bride did not travel to Ghana for the ceremony.
She is currently on federal probation after admitting in 2017 to under-reporting income that she earned from Elite Strategies, a political consulting firm that did work for Baraka's campaign.
Jumah asked a federal judge to temporarily modify the conditions of her probation to go to Ghana from Dec. 17, 2018, to Jan. 2 this year, court records show. The request was denied.
Court records show Jumah is accused of violating the terms of her probation a number of times. One of those alleged violations includes a July 4 incident that police records show allegedly occurred inside the mayor's home.
Last July, the mother of Baraka's daughter filed a police report against Jumah, alleging that Jumah twisted the teen's arm and shoved her several times inside a home owned by the mayor. The police report, obtained by TAPinto Newark through a public records request, called Jumah the "live-in girlfriend" of the father.
NJ Advance Media was first to report the incident in September.
The simple assault charge against Jumah was transferred to Hudson County, court officials and her attorney for the charge previously told TAPinto Newark. A spokesman for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office did not immediately return a phone call seeking the status of the charge.
When asked about the mayor’s trip, Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose today said Baraka brought a security detail with him for the trip, but said the dates of travel were “confidential” due to security reasons. He said he did not know if anyone else was on the trip with the mayor.