Elmwood Park mayor resigns, charged with election ballot violations

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ELMWOOD PARK -

The Democratic mayor of a Bergen County town has resigned amid an election violation charge.

The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office said Monday that former Elmwood Park Mayor Francesco Caramagna faces a charge of interfering with the secrecy of the election process.

Caramagna, who resigned Sunday, is accused of filling out some portions of mail-in ballots and primary election ballot certifications.

The 74-year-old was elected in November 2017.

The prosecutor says Caramagna interfered with the secrecy of the election process as a mayoral candidate by completing portions of the Application for Vote by Mail ballot, Primary Election Ballot Certifications and General Election Ballot Certifications of registered voters in Elmwood Park, which is illegal.

The acting mayor of Elmwood Park is now 24-year-old law student Daniel Golabeck. He says that the town is currently in safe hands.

“We have news that can come as a shock to the community. It's our job to make sure we continue the business of the borough,” Golabeck says. “Make sure the trash gets picked up, make sure all the borough services continue without interruption. And that's what I'm focused on.”

Now some of the Republicans who lost the race to Caramagna last year are calling for a new election. They say that they are questioning the results.

Prosecutors received a complaint in early April and started interviewing voters. Republicans had brought the irregularities to the attention of the county Board of Elections late last October before voting began.

Neither Caramagna nor his attorney returned calls made by News 12 New Jersey for comment.

Caramagna's attorney, John Bruno Jr., told the Associated Press that his client "has stepped up to the plate" to face the charge and "looks forward to clearing the matter up in the courtroom."

Caramagna is scheduled to make an initial court appearance by the end of May.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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