Burlco Prosecutor: Claims of Illegal Voting Activity in Chesterfield Twp Unsubstantiated

“As a resident of Chesterfield and as its Deputy Mayor, I am proud to live in a community where racism is rejected and folks can recognize a poor loser for what he is.” – Koetas-Dale

By Ben Wolverton
Published: February 5, 2019 – 6:10pm
Updated: February 6, 2019 – 9:21am

Burlco Freeholder Balvir Singh leads Committeeman Shreekant Dhopte in the Oath of Office in January of 2019. (Marisa Murphy/WBNC News)

(Ben Wolverton/WBNC News)

MOUNT HOLLY, NJ – In the 8 days since former Chesterfield Township Committeeman Sam Davis made a public allegation of illegal voting activity in Chesterfield Twp in the 2018 General Election, we have finally heard from the Burlington County Prosecutors. In an early morning report from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Burlco Freeholder Balvir Singh says he reached out to the Prosecutor’s Office who told him the investigation was halted “due to a lack of merit.”

WBNC News cannot independently confirm that an investigation took place as we are still awaiting a response from our OPRA request.

On January 28th, Davis commented on a public Facebook post, detailing his run for reelection against Shreekant Dhopte. “It [sic] Indian guy ran against me and he beat me by 116 votes I know for fact all the Indian people in Chesterfield voted for him and I also know that they are not United States citizens.” Davis went on to write that the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office was investigating illegal voting activity in the 2018 election.

The Inquirer article reads, “[Davis] said he is hoping that the prosecutor will overturn the election and added that he plans to run again for township committee.”

When asked about the new information out of the Prosecutor’s Office in the Inquirer, Davis tells WBNC News Tuesday evening, “The Prosector’s office did not contact me with this information. If this if true I will make an apology to the folks of Chesterfield.”

“These remarks were the grumblings of a person who lost his seat to someone who was better qualified and who worked very hard to earn his position as a Chesterfield Committeeman,” Chesterfield Township Deputy Mayor Denise Koetas-Dale told WBNC News Tuesday. “Claiming to be a ‘student of history’, Mr. Davis merely demonstrated his ignorance of the voting system in New Jersey, whereby absentee and provisional ballots are checked to ensure that they were filed by fully registered voters.”

When reached for comment on January 28th for evidence of illegal voting activity in Chesterfield Twp last year, Davis told WBNC News, “At this time the Burlington county prosecutors office is investigating this matter. I don’t think it’s a good idea to talk about it at this time.”

Shreekant Dhopte released a joint statement with fellow Committee member Andrea Katz, saying, “Chesterfield’s rich diversity is a strength that we are proud of and we will not allow the words of Sam Davis to divide us. Hate has no home in our community.”

“As an immigrant myself and of Indian decent [sic], I am heavily dismayed by this type of demeaning characterization purported by the former Republican Committeeman of Chesterfield,” Burlington County Freeholder Deputy Director Balvir Singh said in a Facebook post. “I call on the Chesterfield and Burlington County Republican Leadership to denounce this abhorrent behavior of one of their own local leaders.”

Then-Committeeman Sam Davis at the Ribbon-Cutting of the new Municipal Building in August of 2017. (Marisa Murphy/WBNC News)

Related Story:
Dhopte Takes Chesterfield Twp Committee

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What isn’t clear is whether the incendiary posts from former-Committeeman Davis were made before or after the investigation was thrown out due to “lack of merit”. That answer could come with the results of our OPRA request with the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.

Ben Wolverton can be reached at bwolverton@wbncnews.com

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