The investigation into election tampering continues in Hoboken, reportedly yielding the identities of the individuals seen distributing fliers that were forged to include a racially charged statement against then-Councilman Ravi Bhalla.
Bhalla won the election on November 7, narrowly defeating Councilman Michael DeFusco in the race for Mayor of Hoboken.
“This new information puts our city one step closer to finding out who perpetrated this heinous act that impacted our election and brought an incredible amount of negative attention to Hoboken,” said DeFusco, in a press release. “I am confident that the Hoboken Police Department is doing everything it can to solve this case and I would like to thank the many residents who responded to our reward offer and who share our goal of getting to the bottom of this disgusting act to hopefully prevent this kind of malfeasance from ever happening again.”
The Hoboken Police Department is actively investigating the fliers and anyone with any information is urged to call 201-420-2111 to report information.
“When Police Investigators have people come forward with information, that info and the person providing the info are not identified until it needs to be (i.e. court), for many reasons, including the protection of the investigation, the protection of witnesses, and the protection of individuals against false claims,” says Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth F. Ferrante. “When identities of individuals involved in this case are confirmed to the point of probable cause, at that time complaints will be filed arrests, will be made, and then we will announce the arrests like we always do.”
However, Ferrante added, “The Hoboken Police Department continues to perform interviews, work with the Hudson County Prosecutors Office, use forensic science in assessing evidence, and look at all tips and information for corroboration and veracity. At this time, none of the leads or identities provided by the DeFusco campaign, have been corroborated, and Hoboken Police Detectives continue to attempt to corroborate the info provided, and continue to wait for follow up information that was requested to them.”
Meanwhile, DeFusco has retained a private investigator to help find the perpetrator—in addition to launching a fundraising page to pay for the reward and investigation.
The story of the forged fliers put the Hoboken election squarely in the national and even international spotlight.