New Jersey Superior Court Judge Michael Blee has decided to reopen (on a limited scope basis) the Viana Bailey election contest for Atlantic City’s 2nd Ward Atlantic City Council seat.

This matter had previously been thoroughly examined by Blee, whereby he determined that Atlantic City Councilman LaToya Dunston should be the certified winner of the election by 6 votes.

Bailey contends that more than six illegal mail-in votes were cast and that Callaway was directly involved with his support of Dunston.

In light of the recent federal criminal charges filed against Craig Callaway, Blee has decided to re-examine the 2022 Atlantic City 2nd Ward election.

Callaway has been charged with mail-in ballot election fraud.

Callaway maintain’s his innocence.

Blee has advised both sides that there will be one more hearing within the next 30 days.

This matter was fully settled in Dunston’s favor, however, Blee has decided that because of Callaway’s present circumstances … he wants to take one final look at the case.

Blee has set a hearing for Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 9:30 a.m. at the Atlantic County Civil Court.

Blee has reopened this case on a narrow, limited basis involving specific vote-by-mail ballots only.

This is Blee’s second straight favorable ruling in favor of Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small.

In very recent past, Blee ruled against an injunction that would have stopped the Atlantic Avenue, so-called “Road Diet” scheme that Small is championing.

This was an odd decision by Blee, insofar as Small failed to appear before the casino reinvestment development authority, which was a requirement before this project could begin.

The project has continued despite this unambiguous requirement, with Blee ruling in favor of Small and against the wishes of the Atlantic City casino industry, and AtlantiCare Reguinal Medical Center.

Regarding the second ward council seat, this is Small’s former seat that he held for a number of years before he became mayor.

Small enthusiasticly supported Bailey against the incumbent (Dunston).

Small obtained lawyers for Bailey and attended almost every hearing of the previous contest phases.

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