WEST NEW YORK – The federal trial of Mayor Felix Roque, which was originally set to begin late last year before it was delayed until next week, has been delayed again, according to the office of Judge Kevin McNulty, who is scheduled to preside over the trial.
The trial is now set to begin July 23, according to McNulty’s courtroom deputy, Nitza Creegan. According to Creegan, the delay was caused by a struggle to accommodate the schedules of the various involved parties.
Roque and his son, Joseph, have been charged with a variety of criminal hacking charges, as well as with conspiracy, stemming from accusations that they hacked into an anti-Roque website. The pair was arrested last May.
Despite the protests of his opponents, Roque has not resigned from office since the indictment, and maintained his innocence in the hacking case. A few weeks ago, he was slammed by a NJ Department of Education report that alleged that he had engaged in possibly illegal hiring practices in the town’s school district and solicited unethical campaign contributions from school district employees. Again, he denied any wrongdoing.
The report was forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General, but it’s unclear if Roque will incur charges in that matter.
Roque was reached on the phone early Monday and said that he was on vacation, but was aware of the trial date’s changing. – Dean DeChiaro