The city council appointed a refugee advocate to replace convicted Jersey City police officer Ehab Abdelaziz on the Paterson Board of Adjustment.
Sikandar Khan was appointed to replace Abdelaziz on Tuesday night. He was nominated by at-large councilwoman Maritza Davila. Khan is well-known for his role in assisting a number of Syrian families flee war to settle in northern New Jersey through the Global Emergency Response and Assistance (GERA).
Khan founded the organization in 2016. He serves as the organization’s director. He also works as an aide to the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders and youth coordinator for the Passaic County One Stop Career Center, according to his resume.
Khan previously worked as an intern for congressman Bill Pascrell and as a field organizer for the Passaic County Democratic Party. He also served as an intelligence analyst in Afghanistan in 2014. He has a bachelor’s degree in diplomacy and international relations from Seton Hall University. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School, according to Davila.
Khan’s term expires on June 30th, 2020, according to the resolution approved by the council. His predecessor, Abdelaziz, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in a Jersey City scandal in early October.
In the charging documents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey stated Abdelaziz lives in Clifton, which would disqualify him from serving in Paterson. Davila continued to maintain Abdelaziz lives in Paterson.
Abdelaziz resigned from his seat prior to his guilty plea. The plea deal carries a five-year prison sentence.
Abdelaziz is the brother of Al Abdelaziz, vice-chairman of the Paterson Democrats and former 6th Ward city council candidate.
The council also appointed a replacement for deceased Paterson Housing Authority Board member Kevin Michael Henry.
Henry is being replaced by real estate agent Bernard Jones, Jr. Jones is a former site manager for the Paterson Community Health Center of Broadway. He also worked as a supervisor for environmental services at the Holy Name Hospital of Teaneck.
Jones works as a real estate agent at the West New York-based Premier Brokers. He is also the owner of Forever Healing Home Health Services of Dumont. Jones has a degree from Shaw University. His resume does not state in what field or subject.
At-large councilman Alex Mendez nominated Jones for the post. Jones unsuccessfully ran twice for an at-large council seat and the 1st Ward seat in 2014 and 2015.
Jones’s term expires on June 30th, 2020, according to the resolution approved by the council.