PATERSON, NJ - Third Ward Councilman Elect Alex Mendez issued an invitation to residents to join him at Paterson City Hall on July 1 where he expects to be sworn in to the seat two separate ballot counts indicate he won on May 12.

The message, via Facebook Live, came just hours after Mendez, as well as First Ward Councilman Michael Jackson, were charged along with two other men with various crimes related to voting fraud by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.

All four men are alleged to have improperly collected mail-in ballots and delivered them to the Board of Elections without properly identifying themselves as the bearer. Mendez is additionally alleged to have collected and submitted one or more voter registration applications which he knew to be false, fictitious or fraudulent, in that he knew the individual for whom the application was procured was not eligible to vote in the election district identified on the form

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While not speaking to what he referred to as “accusations”, which include Election Fraud, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, Mendez said he is “waiting for his day in court to clear his name.”

Referring to him as a “fine public servant with a distinguished record of serving the community for many years,” Theodore E. Kyles, an attorney representing Jackson, told TAPinto Paterson that his client will be pleading not guilty and contesting all of the charges. 

“I am ready to continue the work I’ve been doing for the community for years,” Mendez said. “To continue doing what is right for the people.”

Earlier this month Mendez raised his own concerns about how the election was conducted, calling for investigations by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, as well as the Paterson City Council, into what he believed were attempts to suppress the votes of Hispanic residents. 

Citing several irregularities, Councilman Bill McKoy has called for a redo of the 3rd Ward election. After a recount of the ballots Mendez leads McKoy by a count of 1,598 to 1,358. 

Three other candidates, Sharrieff Bugg, Robyn Spencer, and Chauncey Brown III received a combined 458 votes in the contest that has drawn scrutiny even before the count began.

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