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Political Consultant Indicted For Allegedly Impersonating Opposing Candidate’s Chief Of Staff June 17, 2010

Posted by jefhenninger in News.
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TRENTON – Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced that a paid political consultant was indicted today in connection with deceptive “robocalls” made to more than 12,000 voters that attacked the two Republican incumbents in the June 2009 primary race for state Assembly in the 40th Legislative District.

According to Director Taylor, the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau obtained a state grand jury indictment today charging Kevin Collins, 39, of Brooklyn, N.Y., formerly of Wood-Ridge, N.J., with impersonation, a fourth-degree crime. The charge stems from an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice and the New Jersey State Police.

It is alleged that Collins, who was a paid political consultant for Republican challengers Joe Caruso and Anthony Rottino, was responsible for automated phone calls or “robocalls” attacking the Republican incumbents, Assemblymen Scott Rumana and David Russo. The calls, which were made using a robocall service operated by an independent company, allegedly impersonated Assemblyman Rumana’s chief of staff, Ann O’Rourke. The calls featured the voice of a woman who identified herself as “Ann.”

It is alleged that Collins obtained the cellular telephone number of Ann O’Rourke and provided it to the robocall service company so that it would appear that the automated phone message originated from her and her cell phone. The robocall went to more that 12,000 residents of the 40th Legislative District on the day of the primary, June 2, 2009. The call made several inaccurate remarks about the incumbent assemblymen and encouraged recipients to vote against them. The call did not identify what campaign or political organization was responsible for it.

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