Guilty plea in alleged cash-for-votes scheme in Hoboken

Three people have been charged in the alleged scheme.

The woman whose September arrest revealed a federal investigation into an alleged cash-for-votes scheme in Hoboken admitted in court Thursday that she promised voters $50 in exchange for their votes.

The probe has also led to the indictments of real estate developer Frank Raia and one of his associates, Dio Braxton. Federal prosecutors allege Raia, who sought an at-large council seat in 2013 and was also supporting a referendum to weaken the city’s rent control laws, oversaw the operation to pay voters to cast ballots for his slate and the ballot question using mail-in ballots.

Lizaida Camis, 55, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of conspiracy to promote a voter bribery scheme in front of U.S. District Judge William Martini. Camis faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 21.

The allegations stunned Hoboken, where vote-buying is an open secret but where politicians dismayed by the practice thought the feds had taken a pass on filing criminal charges.

Raia is expected to appear in court on his charges next week. His attorney, Alan Zegas, told The Jersey Journal that Raia is innocent.

“We’ll vigorously contest the charges in the indictment and we’ll enter a plea of not guilty to each allegation contained in the indictment,” Zegas said. “He’s long been a giving and caring member of the community.”

Terrence T. McDonald may be reached at tmcdonald@jjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @terrencemcd. Find The Jersey Journal on Facebook.

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