The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) has filed complaints against three former city council candidates — Wendy Guzman, Veronica Ovalles, and Bernard Jones, Jr. — for their alleged violation of the state’s election law.
Guzman has been charged with three separate election law violations. She allegedly failed to submit the three – 29-day, 11-day, and 20-day — campaign finance reports.
A former school board member, Guzman ran for the 5th Ward city council seat in 2016. She came in second place in a three-person race. She filed documents opening a depository, but did not file the three campaign finance reports, according to the state.
Guzman (left) did not respond to a call for comment on Thursday afternoon.
Ovalles (center) was charged with the same three counts for allegedly failing to file her 29-day, 11-day, and 20-day campaign reports.
“I did file timely. One of them was filed incorrectly,” said Ovalles. She described the incorrect filing as an honest mistake. “It was a misunderstanding.”
Ovalles said she often traveled to Trenton to file her forms in person to ensure compliance with election law.
Ovalles ran for the 1st Ward seat. She came in second place in a three-person race.
Jones is accused of the same three counts. He also allegedly failed to file his 29-day, 11-day, and 20-day during the 2015 special election in the 1st Ward.
Jones, Ovalles, and Guzman face $7,600 in maximum penalty for each offense.
Jones (right) finished third place in that five-person race. He could not immediately reached for comments on Friday morning.
Complaints against Guzman and Ovalles were filed in September while complaint against Jones was filed in May.
The reports the three past candidates are accused of not filing allows voters to see how the campaigns were being financed and where money was being spent.