Springfield Republicans Contest Election

GOP members file court documents looking in hopes of overturning election.

Alleging issues with absentee ballots, electronic voting and former residents voting illegally, Springfield Republicans have filed an official contest of election with Superior Court.

James Foerst, the attorney representing the party, said that legal documents questioning the results of the election were filed this week. Following a recount earlier this month, the margin between Democrat Margaret Bandrowski and Republican Jerry Fernandez was reduced from five to four. After reviewing ballots and other election materials, Foerst and his clients believe that there are enough votes in doubt to change the final results.

Most of the alleged voting irregularities stem from the extraordinary circumstances caused by Tropical Storm Sandy. Foerst said that three mail-in ballots were not counted and that residents who attempted to vote electronically were not able to do so due to the technical problems with the county clerk’s office.

“Despite their attempts to vote electronically, they were disenfranchised because the county could not accept their vote,” Foerst said.

In addition, he said his clients have found over a half dozen votes cast by former residents ineligible to vote because they moved away from Springfield.

“They are not legal votes,” he said.

Foerst said that that Superior Court Judge Lisa F. Chrystal, the judge in charge of elections, is expected to review the documents calling for a contested election on Monday, Dec. 31. Foerst said he is arguing that Judge Chrystal should order Springfield to refrain from swearing in Township Committee members and to instead hold a second election.

Bandrowski is set to take the oath of office at Springfield’s annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 1. She said that while she understood why the Republicans are pursuing these legal actions, she was confident she had won the vote.

“They are doing what they feel they have to do and they have the right to exhaust all their legal options,” she said. “However, since the election results have been twice certified, we expect to be sworn in on Tuesday and to serve.”

Former Springfield Township Attorney and Freeholder elect Bruce Bergen said that while he recognized the Republicans are entitled to request court intervention, he questioned whether pursuing legal recourse was in the best interest of Springfield.

"There may have been a close race for one seat, but clearly the voters of Springfield have spoken with a loud voice in rejecting the prior administration," Bergen said in an email.  "At some point, in any race, you need to just accept the results and move on.  I would suggest now is that time in this contest."

BART FRAENKEL January 01, 2013 at 12:27 AM
Mark W, if you know me then you'd know that what I said is honestly how I feel. Again, I'm not disagreeing with your assessment and opinion, I was just stating that many people in political office have recent indiscretions that were resolved, but occurred none the less. I do agree with you that people should have trust in their elected officials. The question I think you're really asking is what would the position of the Democratic Party be if this situation happened with an incoming Republican member. I was implying, there should be 1 set of rules that everyone follows, without exception. So if a DUI isn't reason for a political party complaining about a TC member, then this shouldn't be either and visa versa. Personally, I think anyone who is found guilty of a crime other then parking tickets or minor violations should either be removed or disallowed from holding office. Unfortunately that will never happen and also the legal system creates loopholes for people because in many cases a guilty judgement is never rendered and cases are pled out without guilt being assigned.
Mark W January 01, 2013 at 01:12 AM
Bart we agree on everything you said with one exception. Mr.Barnett in my opinion only, can not be trusted because he compromised his fiduciary responsibility as you stated I wish this came up during the campaign. Both parties democrat and republicans make mistakes and I hope you will be as vocal in 2013. Happy New Year to you and all Springfield residents
Mark W January 01, 2013 at 01:17 AM
To Stop Complaining so much Wish I could be there at the swearing in ceremony but I have a family commitment. I hope someone will bring this matter up.Interested to see what Mr. Amlen's take on this will be.
a January 01, 2013 at 04:31 PM
BFreeman January 01, 2013 at 09:25 PM
I also watched some of the mtg online. I'm embarrassed and ashamed be a republican today. Mr shehady behaved like a child and looked like a fool. tried to support him because of my party affiliation initially and i thought he had good energy, but I cannot any longer. I know his games of personal destruction and toxic motives will not help our town. His immaturity was at an all time high today at that meeting which looked like a full room with mention of many politicians ( Munoz, bramnick, etc). Its a sad day for our town. he is an embarrassment and he has no right to even mention Barnett's settlement if what others have said is true about his own problems with the law. Why is that lady not asking him to resign too with an alleged DUI? Is that really true? i had never heard about that so i don't want to speculate. I also don't remember reading about that in the news. The reason nobody from the patch comments spoke up at the meeting is obvious. Most of the people who comment on the patch must be Shehady. People have been saying this for a long time. I believe it now.
stephen January 01, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Funny how suddenly Shehady supporters have the courage to post now - your alleged "support" is as real as all the other false allegations. What's really disturbing is how you're quick to call him immature whenever you disagree with what he says. I'm sure he's losing sleep over losing your respect. By the same logic that everyone who commented on the Patch must be Shehady because no one spoke up, everyone on the Patch commented against him must be Bruce, Bart, David and the Democrats - that's clear to see. I praise him for his courage and conviction to speak up and highlight the amateurs in a crowded room of their friends. Keep calling him a child - how long is that going to last? Your insults are proof of who is really acting immature and like children. If he's supposed to sit up there and play along with whatever they want him to do and not disagree, then "immature" and "child" is what Springfield needs - not crooks and cowards. Lay off him already.
stephen January 01, 2013 at 09:59 PM
And after that lady spoke, I heard lots of applause for her comments - seems the supporters were there but when it's clear that the new majority is going to dismiss anything a resident has to say and yell at them for commenting or be chastised by the "former Township Attorney", why bother repeating what's been said? That's why I didn't speak. I was in the back with about 7 of my friends - all of us went with the intention of speaking but what's the point in the face of the arrogance of those Democrats.
The Voice of Reason January 01, 2013 at 10:13 PM
@BFreeman-I agree with you regarding the embarrassment of Mr. Shehady. I am also a registered republican, but I voted for the dems. I did not like immaturity coming from all three in their comments and actions. I also took note of the poor campaign literature from the republicans that came to my house. Character counts in public office as far as I'm concerned. I'm thinking of changing from republican to independent, but what good would that do? As far as the DUI, if I remember correctly, it happened in another town in Union Co. You wouldn't have read about it unless you read that towns police blotter. I'm sure it was known in political circles throughout the county. He disappeared for several months which did not go unnoticed. The absence was explained away as part of his reserve obligations. This is what I've heard. You can probably get that information through a public records search. There are ways of getting driver abstracts and police reports. I thought of doing it, but it is not worth my time and energy. In my mind, I don't need anything else to discredit him.
stephen January 01, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Wow, with the amount of people claiming to be registered Republicans posting on here you'd think we were Westfield or Texas, certainly not Springfield. I'm surprised at all the alleged Republicans in town especially when Springfield has been electing Democrats for over 20 years.
stephen January 01, 2013 at 10:57 PM
What I find hard to believe is that anyone takes any of you seriously. I'm going back to observation mode - your actions and vitriol on these forums is disgusting. People sign their name (like Mr. Strumpf) and get jumped all over. People don't sign their name and get jumped all over. The only people who seem to get a pass are the ones who have something nasty to say about Mayor Shehady. Everyone sees the bias here, and I'm not biased in his favor but it is disgusting and telling of the character of Democratic supporters who shamelessly attack him at every opportunity. Mr. Amlen's acceptance speech today was absolutely correct with regards to the nature of partisan politics. It seems to be coming very heavily from his own team. People like Mr. Groder and Mr. Herkalo are obviously being used as mouthpieces so the Democrats can "officially" distance themselves from the dirty politics they play but the town sees it which is why they didn't win by the same margin as President Obama. I'm not a blind follower of Ziad but I take a back seat and observe town affairs very carefully. I'll go back to that lest I be hunted down with pitchforks and torches by the animals on here. And no, I'm not Ziad - there's witnesses to that.
Mark W January 01, 2013 at 11:05 PM
B. Freeman, I called for Mr. Barnett to resign but was not able to attend the meeting because of family obligations. I am a 57 year old resident and not the mayor so you do not know what you are saying. As for the mayor if he did what was said here he needs to grow up for the good of Springfield cause it will be a long year for him
SpringfieldTruth January 01, 2013 at 11:27 PM
Stop Complaining So Much, we know you never liked ZAS so don't pretend like the rest of them. I'm not claiming you're a Democratic supporter because we all know how Jeff Rosenberg and his wife Hope only pander to the political party that will help their real estate business but from your history on here, it's clear you never liked him at all. And Jeff, didn't your wife get appointed to a Rent Committee of some sort today? We're supposed to think you two are objective? So much for anonymity. You're right, there is great entertainment value with these posts.
SpringfieldTruth January 01, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Cute response, Jeff. Keeping up the entertainment I guess. The proof is on the Patch. Changed your alias a few times already, time to do it again? Just go with your real name Jeff, take a lesson from your son. Wasn't your wife one of the appointments ZAS voted against? I'm sure being on a Committee with an inside track on renters and landlords is good for your business. Is that part of the way he conducted himself that turned you off?
Louis Herkalo January 02, 2013 at 06:15 PM
Stephen, I wish I could be used as a mouthpiece for the Democrats! Problem is I live over 1,300 miles away from Springfield now! But I lived in Springfield for 51 yrs. and saw all the dirty politics played by the Republican party. The biggest joke of all who was on the TC was Marc Marshall. He thought he was the biggest thing next to Ronald Regan! His ego was so large, He even got a license plate that said EX-MAYOR. Just a little note for you! I am an independent. I vote for whomever is going to get the job done! Hope you are staying warm in Springfield!!
Louis Herkalo January 02, 2013 at 06:27 PM
I finally glad someone wrote those things ababout Ziad! As I said in another commenthe took lessons from Gov. Chris Christie. Being rude, obnoxious, screaming at people, ignoring people & the list goes on. Children under the age of six do this. I don't think the Mayor has matured mentally. Or since supposedly is a veteran, he must have PSTD!! Once the Judge decides in favor of the Dem's, Ziad will have nothing to do but sit there & suck his thumb!
Louis Herkalo January 02, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Yes it is public record that he was arrested for DUI in Hillside. Then he did not show up for a court date & was arrested for Failure to Appear! He thinks he's above the law. When I first posted it he called me, telling me he was going to sue me!! I told to go right ahead. I had the court disposition in my hand that was given to me. All you have to do is go to Hillside's Mun. Bldg. & get a copy!!
RS January 03, 2013 at 01:04 AM
Boy this Barnett settlement publicity is really backfiring on Shehady. I had no idea about shehady's DUI and honestly I'm more shocked about that than the SEC Barnett thing. How did he hide A DUI? Did it happen when he was in office? Just unbelievable!
Louis Herkalo January 03, 2013 at 02:29 PM
RS, yes he was on the TC when he was arrested for the DUI in Hillside(I have already put this in a few of my comments & also while he was running for re-election). He was also arrested for failure to appear! Because of his arrogance he feels that he's above the law. Well, he learned the hard way! People do make mistakes & gets a DUI, even if they blow a .08. Most people learn from their mistakes, pay their fines & do whatever other steps the Judge hands down. Not in Ziad's case. He decided he wan't going to go to the court hearing!..This is all public record. Someone brought me a copy of the Hillside Couurt's disposition during his re-election campaign. When I posted it on The Patch, Ziad became very angry. Callled me at my home telling me he was going to sue me,etc. I told him to go right ahead because I had a sheet of paper that was fact & I was not making it up to defame him! I'll say it again. If the Democrats pressed the DUI issue, Ziad Sheehady probably would not have been made Mayor again when he was re-elected due to the amount of votes he won by!!
Louis Herkalo January 03, 2013 at 02:41 PM
RS, I forgot to put one thing that you asked about. Sheehady WAS on the TC when those arrests did occur. I've said this in another comment & it's just rumor but I heard Ziad actually lives in Hillside! DUI in Hillside, live in Hillside. A coincidence? That he uses his parent's address on Meisel Ave(S. Springfield Ave.?) to be able to sereve in Springfield. Again, this is just a rumor!!
Louis Herkalo January 03, 2013 at 02:43 PM
anon, no one knew about those! Someone from the Local Source contacted me for information & a copy of the Court Disposition!
SpringfieldTruth January 03, 2013 at 03:27 PM
yea it turned into a high-speed car chase through 5 towns. i think shehady hit a fruit stand and punched a police officer. he ended up spending a month in jail.
SpringfieldTruth January 03, 2013 at 03:28 PM
the secret hillside house is to throw off the feds so they don't look into shehady's swiss bank accounts and his new york city penthouse.
David Biebelberg January 03, 2013 at 03:36 PM
This trail of posts is incredibly bizarre. The only post with any sense of intelligence, insight and thoughtfulness was written by the person who posts under the name Brett. Separately, this whole hullabaloo concerning Mr. Barnett is shameful. I do not stand in judgement of Mr. Barnett. I do not know him. That said, whomever it is that decides who the candidates for TC will be, clearly and unequivocally decided: 1) that it's perfectly OK for someone with this unfortunate history to serve on the TC, and 2) the information is best withheld from voters. Horribly bad judgement. As for Shehady, the fact that he tried to run monthly meetings and get business done, without every yahoo in town telling him how to do his job does not, in my view, make him immature. I have attended enough TC meetings to know that at some point an intelligent person's patience will expire listening to some of the people who feel they must be heard. At some point it becomes painful sitting in the audience.
BART FRAENKEL January 03, 2013 at 04:57 PM
David, I'm curious who knew about the situation and when, since the link that was posted regarding the issue with Mr. Barnett shows the complaint was officially filed on Dec. 17. In regard to your comments about Shehady, my only disagreement with your statement is that the way he tried to run the monthly meetings did not provide for the same equality among the TC members as the township committee form of government affords them. He ran the meetings so that only his agenda was discussed and that is what I have disagreed with. As long as the proper format is used and its fair and open, I will always be able to live with the results. But the deck was stacked the way he did things and that is what I disliked. If the charter study commission determines a directly elected mayor is the best way for Springfield to proceed in the future, then the way he conducted the meetings will be okay. But not until that happens.
Michael S. Dzikowski January 03, 2013 at 06:25 PM
David Barnett is unbelievable! http://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2012/comp... SEC Complaint 12/17/2012... According to the complaint alleging fraud, falsification of records, scam transactions, backdating of contracts, etc. for personal gain, David Barnett did not admit or deny guilt, but did agree to pay a $130,000 fine and, agreed to not serve as an officer or director of a public company for 10 years!!! But,,, he's still a SPRINGFIELD, NJ COMMITTEEMAN!... Mr. Barnett declined to speak in detail about the charges or the penalties, citing terms of the settlement with the SEC.(?!?) He did say that he was aware of the SEC’s investigation...starting in 2008! Barnett, who has been Chairman of the township’s Democratic Party committee for “a couple of years,” said the SEC’s findings of FRAUD and the settlement would have NO BEARING on his ability to serve as an elected committeeman!!!! “I think the issue is IRRELEVANT,” he said Friday to a Star Ledger Reporter!!! People of NJ! Are we all stupid?!! Please resign Mr. Barnett!!! Your lack of candor, integrity and your inherent conflicts of interest are at a minimum, a disgrace to the people of New Jersey, more likely a crime!......
Louis Herkalo January 04, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Another idiotic reply by simply an idiot!
Louis Herkalo January 04, 2013 at 11:39 PM
I hope someone who reads your disgusting post that had a family member killed by a drunk driver, hunts you down & gives you a beating so bad, that you are disfigured for the rest of your life!!
Louis Herkalo January 04, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Thanks for the comment Ziad!
Michael S. Dzikowski January 07, 2013 at 04:26 PM
http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2012/2012-270.htm http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2012/12/newly_elected_springfield_comm.html http://www.elec.state.nj.us/aboutelec.htm Mr. Barnett, "The essence of Democracy is an informed electorate. It is the fulfillment of this goal which the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) embraces as its valued mission". We are now informed of your background and deeply disappointed. Please resign. SEC Complaint 12/17/2012... According to the complaint alleging fraud, falsification of records, scam transactions, backdating of contracts, etc. for personal gain, David Barnett did not admit or deny guilt, but did agree to pay a $130,000 fine and, agreed to not serve as an officer or director of a public COMPANY for 10 years!!! But,,, he's still a SPRINGFIELD, NJ COMMITTEEMAN with responsibilities for NJ "Public Funds"!!...Disgraceful! M.S.Dzikowski
Michael S. Dzikowski January 09, 2013 at 02:55 PM
People of Springfield: You may find this David Barnet alleged fraud story in need of follow-up! I tried to reach Jim Cramer (CNBC stock commentator and major stockholder of “TheStreet, Inc.” “TST”) for input on Barnett's scam but he has not yet responded. Mr. Barnett was again just elected to the Springfield, NJ Township Committee . A controversy of his financial duties with Springfield's "public funds" has begun due to his SEC Settlement never being disclosed to Springfield voters prior to the election. Mr. Barnett had acknowledged his awareness of the SEC investigation since 2008 but he considers the matter irrelevant. The voters are very disturbed that Mr. Barnett, after paying a $130,000 penalty, and accepting a 10 year ban on being an officer or director of any public company (apparently not a public municipality!) has not resigned and, his new Democratic controlled Committee (3 of 5) has yet to publicly discuss or rationalize Mr. Barnett’s continued duties on Springfield’s Finance committee. Thank you for your interest in this important matter.... Michael S. Dzikowski


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