HAMILTON, NJ -- Mayor Kelly Yaede is facing criminal charges in connection with this year's primary campaign during which expunged records of her primary challenger, David Henderson, were allegedly illegally released to the public.
On Tuesday, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that complaints were filed in Hamilton Township charging Mayor Kelly Yaede and her primary campaign manager, Dan Scharfenberger, with the disclosure of an expungement order, a disorderly persons offense (in violation of 2C:52-30).
A disorderly persons offense can be punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000.
The criminal complaint states that on or about May 28, 2019, through June 6, 2019, Yaede and Sharfenberger revealed to another individual the existence of an arrest, conviction, or related legal proceeding with knowledge that the records and pertainent information had been expunged or sealed. Specifically, the criminal offense occurred by posting expunged records on hamiltonnjnews.blogspot and subsequently continued to publish them on the “Mayor Kelly Yaede” Facebook page and in local media/newspapers.
Scharfenberger was the blog administrator of hamiltonnjnews.blogspot; and all content on there was controlled by he and Yaede, according to the statement.
Reached by phone by TAPinto Hamilton/Robbinsville, Henderson said that these charges point to the corruption, malfeasance and criminality of Mayor Yaede’s administration.
“I think the conspiracy is more widespread than these two people who have been charged. There are no depths to which this corrupt administration will sink," said Henderson. “It is certainly good to hear that the people who unjustly released this information and publicly said I was a misogynist, racist and homophobe are now being criminally charged.
"Mayor Yaede should step down now to give the Republicans a chance to put up a viable candidate in the General Election. This information was clearly leaked to sway voters in the primary. Had it not been released then the outcome may have been different. The Hamilton Republicans are now stuck with a criminally indicted, corrupt mayor as a candidate," Henderson added.
On February 7, 2019, an anonymous Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request for three police reports was left on the counter of the Hamilton Township Clerk’s Office. The investigation revealed that the anonymous requester was Marty Flynn, current serving as Yaede’s chief of staff.
The Prosecutor’s Office said that there was no criminal wrongdoing found on the part of the Hamilton Police Division in responding to the OPRA request and releasing the records.
Messages to Mayor Yaede's staff and campaign have not been returned by the time of story publication.