Speaking after back to back scandal rocked his election campaign to capture a school board seat, Khader “Ken” Abuassab on Wednesday evening said he is unconcerned about being taken off the ballot due to a residency issue.
Investigators for the superintendent of election on Tuesday morning found Abuassab living out of 964 Main Street, a commercial store front with office space on top floor. Abuassab had placed a mattress on the floor of the Arab American Civic Organization’s office and claimed to investigators the space was his permanent residence.
When investigators from the election superintendent’s office called him to verify his domicile, Abuassab said he gladly welcomed them. “When they called me, I said come over, I don’t care,” said Abuassab. “I didn’t even tell them come two weeks from now, come three days from now, I said come now.”
When asked: Where do you live now?
“In my office,” answered Abuassab, who has been evading reporters.
When asked why he hasn’t been responding to reporters’ phone calls. “I had a ringer problem with my phone. I missed 30 calls yesterday,” said Abuassab.
Sources have said Abuassab has been parking his vehicle at a residence in Little Falls overnight and he has been spotted leaving the location in the morning. When asked about his Dodge Durango being parked overnight at what is listed as his previous residence on his voter registration form, Abuassab said, “Oh, I have stuff there in my garage.”
The Passaic County superintendent of election Sherine El-Abd said when an individual is found with bogus address her office verifies and revocation follows. “If he wins, he will be disqualified, and removed,” said El-Abd on Tuesday.
El-Abd said removing Abuassab off the ballot is beyond the jurisdiction of her office; she said that’s up to the county clerk’s office. On Wednesday afternoon, Passaic County clerk Kristin Corrado said she could not speak on the matter.
“Please be advised that upon advice of counsel for the County Clerk’s office, it would be premature for me to speak on this matter since there is currently still an on-going investigation concerning the residency of Mr. Abuassab,” said Corrado. “In the event that a determination is made that the candidate did not meet the residency qualifications as set forth on the petition, I may be called upon to make a determination on same and any answer or comments on my part concerning this scenario would be inappropriate at this point.”
When asked about his 2004 conviction, Abuassab responded, “I’m not going to comment on this.” Abuassab defrauded a number of credit card companies out of approximately $620,000 from February 2000 to May 2001, according to federal court records. Consequently, he was sentenced to 13 months in prison and ordered to pay $620,000 in restitution to a number of lenders.
“You’re going to judge me on one thing?” asked Abuassab. I’ve done a lot for the community, said Abuassab.
Abuassab said he is not worried and he will continue to campaign.