Atlantic City Councilman Marty Small says he's filed the paperwork at the crux of election law violation charges against him that were announced today by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Twice, actually. The second filing happened after ELEC notified him the paperwork was missing, he said.
"Here goes the state harassing me again. I will file it a third time and hopefully it's a charm," said Small, whose third term representing the city’s Second Ward runs through 2014.
By "harassment," Small referred to the state previously bringing voter fraud charges against him, of which he was cleared. Those were criminal allegations, however, and were prosecuted by the state Attorney General's Office after a targeted investigation that involved multiple law enforcement agencies including the FBI.
"I guess they really think I'm dumb," Small said. "I filed to run weeks after a 6 month trial involving election allegations. I barely ran a campaign. I couldn't find a treasurer because, being frank, why would someone want to go through the nonsense?
"So I was my own treasurer, which is 100% legal. This is not the first time - and I'm sure it won't be the last - that they can't find paperwork. Ironically, this time, it's mine."
The disclosure violations ELEC claims by Small and about 60 others statewide are punishable by a maximum fine of $6,800 for every unreported transaction, and disputable through a hearing if the accused requests it within 20 days, according to the law.
These charges stem from the primary elections June 7, 2011.
Others charged in South Jersey include Democrat Daniel Campbell, who was unopposed in the primary and lost that November his bid for a seat on the Republican-controlled Egg Harbor Township Committee, and Republican Frank Craig, who was unsuccessful in his attempt to win a spot on the three-person Weymouth Township Committee.
ELEC also claims noncompliance by Ship Bottom Councilman Frank Malatino, a Republican, and First Ward Pleasantville City Councilman Ricky Cistrunk, a Democrat.
Each of them neglected to file documents detailing campaign spending and contributions as required 29 days before, 11 days before and 20 days after the election, the ELEC complaints state.
Campbell said he raised no money during his campaign, and simply forgot to file the paperwork that's still necessary even in the absence of fundraising.
Despite that, the underdog still took about 24 percent of votes compared with about 38 percent each for the two Republican candidates.
“I was the sacrificial lamb, and I didn’t want to sacrifice any of my own money,” Campbell said. “I didn’t even ask people for money because I knew the shots were long.”
Cistrunk declined comment. Craig and Malatino did not return calls.