Carteret Republican candidate arrested on voter fraud charge
A former candidate for mayor in Carteret has been charged with voting twice in the November election.
Frederick Gattuso, 43, who ran against Mayor Daniel Reiman in 2018, voted twice by mail using the registration of two people with similar names, officials said.
He was arrested and charged with third-degree fraudulent voting. Gattuso has an initial court hearing scheduled for March 4.
Voters cast ballots mostly via mail in November's election after Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order to help slow the spread of coronavirus by eliminating crowds at the polls.
Only one election was affected by election problems this November. A judge in Atlantic County ordered a new election for the Atlantic County District 3 county commissioners race because the county clerk sent incorrect ballots to 554 voters.
The campaign between Reiman and Gattuso was contentious with the Republican accusing the incumbent of being a sexual predator, thief and drunk driver, according to MyCentralJersey.com coverage of the campaign. Reiman filed defamation lawsuits against Gattuso and three others, according to MyCentralJersey.com.
"We exposed his criminal history, his racist and bigoted comments when he ran against me in 2018 so it’s really no surprise that his criminal conduct would continue," Reiman said in response to the voter fraud charge against his nemesis. "The local Republican leaders should condemn voter fraud and these illegal tactics, but as they endorsed him to run for mayor I can’t help but think that this latest stunt was the idea of some of the the same individuals and maybe more wide spread."
"While it should be easy to participate in our democratic voting process, there needs to be a better system of checks and balances to ensure that the actions of few bad actors don’t undermine the integrity of our voting process and elections," Reiman said.
The state Republican Committee did not immediately respond on Friday morning to a message from New Jersey 101.5 seeking comment on the charges against Gattuso.