The election law violations charges against former city council candidate Veronica Ovalles have been dismissed, according to New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). She was charged with failing to file three campaign finance reports.
“I’m very happy they were able to get it dismissed,” said Ovalles. “I didn’t break any law. I didn’t have to pay any penalties.” She provided a letter that stated the complaint against her was dismissed on Nov. 21, 2017. The dismissal was confirmed by the state.
The state accused her of failing to file her 29-day, 11-day, and 20-day campaign reports for her 2016 run for the 1st Ward council seat. She said the complaint against her resulted from an error in a form that she filed. She corrected the error and re-submitted the form, she said.
“The only thing was the incorrect date, the year of the date,” she said. “They were filed timely.” The state sent her letters to correct the issue; however, the letters were never received due to a change of address.
Ovalles ran twice for the 1st Ward seat. She lost in 2015 and tried again in 2016. She came in second place in a three-person race the second time. She said a story in the Paterson Times which covered the charges filed against her and two other former council candidates exposed her to criticism.
“I was criticized badly for the article,” said Ovalles. She said the criticism was undeserved considering the time and effort she spent in hopes of representing residents. “I sacrificed a lot of things for my family to be out there for the people,” she said.