PATERSON — Paterson’s newest City Council member, Md. Forid Uddin, has yet to file his final campaign finance report, which was supposed to be sent to the state more than 10 weeks ago .
Uddin, a Paterson school teacher, filed an initial on-time report on April 11 that said he gave $50,000 of his own money to his campaign and received another $250 contribution. The April 11 report said Uddin had spent $28,638
Uddin’s second campaign finance report was due to be filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission on April 30, but he did not file it until Tuesday, after multiple inquiries from the Paterson Press about his status. This report was essentially a duplicate of the April 11 document, showing no change in their contributions or expenditures.
As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, Uddin had not filed the third report required by the state. This was to be done 20 days after the May 10 election.
Before the election, Uddin had numerous campaign signs around Paterson, apparently more than any other City Council candidate. On election day, his campaign workers were present at many polling places, far outnumbering other candidates.
In April, Uddin said he used money from a real estate deal to put the $50,000 into his campaign. He said he was self-funding his campaign because he didn’t want to owe anything to “special interests.”
The Paterson Press began asking Uddin about his unfiled campaign finance reports in June. At the time, he attributed the criminal reports to his campaign manager, Andrew Trenk, saying he also worked on other campaigns. Uddin did not respond when asked a second time about the situation in July.
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On Monday, Uddin told the Paterson Press that all reports would be submitted that day. His campaign treasurer, Shabbir Ahmad, said he was late filing the reports because of “a family issue.”
“It’s my fault. I’ll take care of it,” Ahmad said.
Uddin came third in May’s 10-person contest for three City Council seats. Casey Melvin, who finished fourth, said he could understand why Uddin’s campaign finance reports were late.
“You’re busy campaigning. It’s very hectic,” Melvin said.
Joe Malinconico is an editor at Paterson Press.