According to a report by Jay Rahman of Paterson Times, Judge Ernest Caposela ruled that incumbent Councilman Shahin Khalique won the May 2016 election by three votes. Khalique had won in May 2016 by twenty votes against then-Councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman. Caposela’s decision cements Khalique’s razor-thin victory, albeit by a much closer margin.
After his loss, Akhtaruzzaman took Khalique to court, alleging voter fraud. In June, a deputy attorney general monitoring the case wrote a legal brief to the court saying he believed evidence showed that fraud occurred, particularly with mail-in-ballots. Akhtaruzzaman, ironically, originally won his seat in 2012 besting veteran Councilman Aslon Goow, who then won a court case challenging Akhtaruzzaman’s residency, setting up a special election. Akhtaruzzuman won that special election in November 2012.