N.J. investigating freeholder for allegedly delivering election ballot of dead man, source says - nj.com

N.J. investigating freeholder for allegedly delivering election ballot of dead man, source says

A Mercer County freeholder is under investigation by the state Attorney General’s office on accusations he delivered a general election ballot for a man who died in late October, a law enforcement source told NJ Advance Media.

The freeholder, Samuel T. Frisby, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

All registered voters in New Jersey were sent a mail-in ballot for this year’s general election, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Voters had the option of having a person deliver the ballot for them, called a “bearer.”

Frisby is under investigation for allegedly delivering the ballot of Luis Mollinedo, a friend, the source said. Mollinedo died on Oct. 25, 2020, and Frisby allegedly delivered the ballot to the Mercer County Board of Elections on Oct. 30, 2020, knowing he died.

Luis Mollinedo’s wife, Aubrey Mollinedo, is an investigator at the election board.

The issue was uncovered by the county Board of Elections, and forwarded to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, which sent it to the state Attorney General’s Office since it was an allegation of an elected county official, according to the source.

Mercer County Prosecutor’s spokesperson Casey DeBlasio said the office neither confirms nor denies investigations. The state AG’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but also typically does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations.

A request for comment from the Mercer Board of Elections officials was not immediately returned.

Frisby, a Democrat and former Trenton city official, has been a freeholder since 2011. (The term freeholder will disappear on Jan. 1, 2021, replaced by county commissioner.)

Ileana Schirmer, a top Mercer County Republican and chair of the Hamilton Republican party, said the Frisby allegations were brought to her attention as well.

She shared some of the information sent to her, including social media posts that Aubrey Mollinedo made about her husband voting before passing away, and Frisby delivering their ballots, Schirmer said. She also has, and sent to NJ Advance Media, copies of logs that appear to show Frisby signing that he delivered Luis Mollinedo’s ballot.

Aubrey Mollinado was Frisby’s aide at the freeholder board until she moved to the Board of Elections in August of 2018, and the two are neighbors, according to Schirmer.

Schirmer said Aubrey Mollinado, as an election investigator, should know better than to give her dead husband’s ballot to a county freeholder.

The GOP leader said she spoke to Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri about the matter, and he confirmed it had been moved to the state AG’s office.

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Kevin Shea may be reached at kshea@njadvancemedia.com.