Hoboken mayoral candidate says names of five suspects have been given to cops, in racist flyer case
Nov 28, 2017 | 869 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
FLYERGATE -- A former #Hoboken mayoral candidate says police are a step closer to finding out who created racist flyers in the campaign.
FLYERGATE -- A former #Hoboken mayoral candidate says police are a step closer to finding out who created racist flyers in the campaign.
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HOBOKEN--The Hoboken Police Department is still investigating an anonymous campaign flyer distributed before the Nov. 7 mayoral election, and treating it as a bias incident.

The flyer targeted now Mayor-elect Ravi Bhalla, placing the words "Don't let TERRORISM take over this town" over his picture.

Whoever made the ad also included the name of opponent Councilman Michael DeFusco, making it appear that DeFusco created the ad. However, DeFusco denounced it and said it didn’t come from his campaign. He has also offered a $5,000 reward for anyone who has information which leads to a conviction in the case as well as hired a private investigator.

DeFusco's spokesman Phil Swibinski issued a press release on Tuesday Nov. 28, which stated that they believe the reward has led to a "significant new lead that has been forwarded to the Hoboken Police Department" including the names of five people who allegedly distributed the flyer.

The PD had released black and white photos of people caught on camera allegedly distributing the flyers.

However, when asked about the press release. Police Chief Ken Ferrante said in an email that the identities provided by DeFusco's campaign have not yet been corroborated.

"When police investigators have people come forward with information, that info and the person providing the info are not identified until it needs to be (i.e. court), for many reasons, including the protection of the investigation, the protection of witnesses, and the protection of individuals against false claims," he said. "When identities of individuals involved in this case are confirmed to the point of probable cause, at that time, complaints will be filed arrests, will be made, and then we will announce the arrests like we always do."

The identities of those distributing the flyers could be traced to whichever campaign or political group hired them -- which means it could bring down a mayor player. Six people ran for mayor, four of whom have elected positions.

Ferrante added. "The Hoboken Police Department continues to perform interviews, work with the Hudson County Prosecutors Office, use forensic science in assessing evidence, and look at all tips and information for corroboration and veracity. At this time, none of the leads or identities provided by the DeFusco campaign have been corroborated, and Hoboken Police Detectives continue to attempt to corroborate the info provided, and continue to wait for follow up information that was requested to them."

DeFusco said in a release, "This new information puts our city one step closer to finding out who perpetrated this heinous act that impacted our election and brought an incredible amount of negative attention to Hoboken. I am confident that the Hoboken Police Department is doing everything it can to solve this case and I would like to thank the many residents who responded to our reward offer and who share our goal of getting to the bottom of this disgusting act to hopefully prevent this kind of malfeasance from ever happening again."

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