Toms River Democratic Candidate for Mayor Allegedly Conspired to Deceive Voters, Complaint filed in Court says

Jonathan Petro, the Democrat candidate for mayor of Toms River, his campaign committees, the Toms River Democratic Organization and the Ocean County Democratic Party were charged with election fraud in a complaint filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission by Jason Sena, Esq, an attorney with Cutulo Barros LLC, on behalf of Mo Hill For Mayor, the campaign committee of Maurice B “Mo” Hill, the Republican candidate for mayor.

Petro and the Democratic Organizations are alleged to have conspired to deceive Toms River voters through the publication and distribution of a previously anonymous letter from a fictitious entity that falsely accused Hill of inappropriately colluding the Orthodox Jewish community to amend the Township’s zoning laws to allow for Houses of Worship on 2 acre lots.

In the complaint, evidence is presented that the anonymous letter was in fact distributed by Ryan Protter, the president of the Toms River Democratic Organization and the chairman of the Ocean County Democratic Balloting Committee. Protter is the creator and manager of the Petro field program, according to documents included in the complaint. Protter is also an employee of the Ocean County Board of Elections.

“My opponent and his Democratic organizers have acted illegally in their attempts to deceive Toms River voters and to further divide the community over a sensitive issue for their own political and financial gain,” said Councilman Hill, a retired Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. “This type of conduct has no place in Toms River politics.”

The complaint alleges that Petro and his supporting organizations violated New Jersey laws that ensure transparency in political communication and finance. In addition to the complaint, Hill’s campaign committee has asked the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to monitor the integrity of the Toms River election. The Hill campaign asked the Board of Elections to suspend Protter without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

2019-10-16 Complaint and Request for Investigation
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