An appellate court sided with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission in an appeal of its initial complaint against Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo. An administrative law judge had previously ruled that ELEC lacked jurisdiction, in response to DiVincenzo’s argument that without the commission’s full voting members they couldn’t issue a complaint. The appellate court found no basis to adopt the interpretation that the commission required a bipartisan vote to authorize a complaint, and reversed and remanded the initial ruling.
The opinion can be found here.
DiVincenzo’s attorney, Angelo Genova, issued a statement in response to the ruling.
“The Court’s Opinion, while addressing numerous important legal issues of first impression, does not in any way address or determine the merits of any of the claims made against my client with regard to the use of campaign funds under New Jersey’s Campaign Finance Laws. In fact, the Opinion makes no finding whatsoever that my client violated any law. The important legal issues raised in this case are bigger than Mr. DiVincenzo, and, in fact, touch upon significant issues of Administrative Law and the proper role of the Courts in reviewing Agency Decisions and, most importantly, undermine the almost 50 year old tradition of the bipartisan administration of our election laws. For these reasons, and given their public importance, we will be pursuing an appeal.”