Former Republican Morris County Clerk candidate James Vigilante said he did not handle absentee ballots in the June primary election—contradicting recorded testimony from two women that he did hand them ballots to deliver to the Morris County Board of Elections, NJ.com reported.
For weeks, attorneys tried to force the Parsippany-based Air Force reservist to testify in the trial brought by former GOP council candidates Vincent Ferrara and Michael Strumolo, who asserted that absentee ballot fraud was the reason they lost to Robert Peluso and Louis Valori in the closely contested June 3 primary. Attorneys tried to track down Vigilante, but he was never available to be served the subpoena. He told NJ.com that he was on vacation or with the military for 19 of the trial's 21 days.
Vigilante said he knew lawyers were trying to subpoena him, but did not contact them because he didn't trust Strumolo; the two are reportedly at odds, trading insults including "despicable" and "liar."
Strumolo, a soon-to-depart school board member, and Ferrara, until the end of the year the Town Council vice president, alleged in their suit that there was a sufficient number of illegal absentee ballots to affect the election result. Vigilante said he did not touch ballots, but campaign workers Carol Tiesi and Michele Jennrich were recorded testifying that he gave them mail-in ballots and told them to sign them before he took them to the county board of elections.