FBI investigates New Brunswick primary election
FBI agents made a visit to downtown New Brunswick early yesterday to seize documents and electronic data from June's democratic primary election, in which Patricia Bombelyn challenged long-time incumbent candidate Mayor Jim Cahill.
The agents, authorized with a search warrant, carried out the actions as part of an investigation into the election, one anonymous FBI agent said.
County Administrator John Pulomena told The Star-Ledger his office will be working with the FBI to carry out the investigation.
"They are seeking information on the primary election in New Brunswick," Pulomena said. "Any information they requested, we are cooperating."
Two warrants were executed yesterday — one at the county election offices on Jersey Avenue and Bayard Street and the other at the Middlesex County Administration Building, James Farley, resident agent for the FBI office in Franklin Township, Somerset County, told The Star-Ledger.
The investigation is not targeting any single person in particular, according to the article.
The FBI declined to comment further at press time.
Cahill, who ran uncontested in the mayoral race, officially won his sixth term in office earlier this month.
Bombelyn's campaign worker Gideon Weisberg observed a Cahill campaign aide, Kevin Jones, allegedly handling stacks of unsealed, undelivered mail-in ballots in Pine Street Park in June, according to a June 9 article on nj.com.
Jones allegedly assaulted Weisberg when he and an attorney returned to obtain visual documentation of him with the ballots, according to the article.
"When Mayor Cahill's aide Kevin Jones was found in the park with messenger ballots, and then assaulted the person who filmed him, the corruption of New Brunswick's elections was exposed," Bombelyn said. "If it takes the FBI to come here to root out that corruption and restore integrity to the elective process in New Brunswick, we welcome and applaud them."
Bombelyn said she was not concerned about how the outcome of the investigation would affect her, but rather what it would mean for the way government in New Brunswick operates.
"What I am interested in is having clean, transparent government in New Brunswick," she said. "I am interested in city business being accessible to the public and maximizing transparency … so that [people] can become more engaged and more knowledgeable about what is going on in the city."
A representative for Cahill could not be reached at press time.