Dhopte Postpones Special Meeting, Davis to Publicly Apologize

By Ben Wolverton
February 11, 2019 – 3:05pm

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

CROSSWICKS, NJ – The fallout continues from a post made by former Committeeman Sam Davis alleging illegal voting activity in Chesterfield Township. Committeeman Shreekant Dhopte, the man who beat Davis in that 2018 election, is postponing his special community meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, citing a need for further planning.

Dhopte met with representatives from the Crosswicks Friends Meeting on Sunday to discuss the upcoming meeting, and it was determined that a closed-door planning meeting will take place on February 12th instead to “bring together all parties impacted as a result of the last election, to understand and appropriately address the underlying complexity of the issue facing our community without rushing into a public gathering.”

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Former Chesterfield Committeeman Sam Davis took to Facebook last month to comment on a Bordentown restaurant’s post where someone wrote on a check “Don’t Tip Immigrants”. What he ended up writing set off a firestorm of criticism from political leaders here in Chesterfield and at the County level.

Davis wrote, “[An] 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. Burlington County Freeholder Balvir Singh told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the investigation was closed due to “lack of merit”.

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

Deputy Mayor Denise Koetas-Dale released a biting rebuttal of Davis’ comments. “Claiming to be a ‘student of history’, Mr. Davis merely demonstrated his ignorance of the voting system in New Jersey… 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.”

After many media outlets picked up the story, such as NJ.com and New York’s NPR affiliate, Sam Davis has said he will apologize at the Chesterfield Township Committee Meeting on February 14th.

Ben Wolverton can be reached at bwolverton@wbncnews.com

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