Arvin Amatorio seeks to clear name amid opponent’s attacks headed into New Jersey mayoral election

BERGENFIELD, NJ — As polls opened from 6 AM to 8 PM on November 5th in Bergenfield, voters were tasked to choose their next mayor.
Bergenfield is home to more than 5,000 Filipinos — 20 percent of the small town’s population.

Will they keep the incumbent republican mayor of 6 years, Norman Schmelz, or will they elect his challenger – Filipino American Democratic Councilman Arvin Amatorio?

A good turn out could be a good sign for Democrats like Amatorio.

Democrats now have a bigger advantage when it comes to voter registration in New Jersey, where there are about a million more registered Democratic voters than republicans.

These Bergenfield voters didn’t know about the 11th-hour attack Amatorio’s opponent made against him when they cast their ballots.
In a press release last Friday, Shmelz alleged that Amatorio is guilty of violating a trafficking victims protection act of 2013 — in a case that involved a Filipino physical therapist.

Amatorio, an immigration lawyer, is being accused of making false and fraudulent promises when it comes to this physical therapist’s visa petitions and prevailing wage.

But as it turned out, it was only a motion to amend an existing lawsuit to add Amatorio’s name as defendant and no guilty judgment has been rendered at this time.

Czesar Hernandez’s lawsuit against rn staff was filed last January in New York and was transferred to Indiana in July.

But it was not until October 24 when the motion was filed and the mayor’s team sent out the allegations thereafter.

“I’m not a defendant of any case, when they come out with new or press release, they were already ah accusing me or they were already judging that I was found guilty,” said Amatorio. “This is I believe politically motivated, on the last hour of our elections.”
The Republican mayor also claimed that Amatorio is not licensed to practice law in New Jersey, but Amatorio, who said he is licensed to practice in New York, stressed that by law, he can practice in any of the 50 states.
Amatorio not only condemns what he calls false, racist and desperate attack from Schmelz — he said his legal team is filing a $10 million libel and defamation lawsuit against the incumbent mayor.
Schmelz has not responded to ABS-CBN News’ requests for comment.
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