PATERSON — The newest member of Paterson’s City Council, Md Forid Uddin, has not yet filed his final campaign finance report, which was supposed to be sent to the state more than 10 weeks ago.
Uddin, a Paterson schoolteacher, filed an initial report on time on April 11 that said he donated $50,000 of his own money to his campaign and received one other contribution of $250. The April 11 report said Uddin had spent $28,638
Uddin’s second campaign finance report was due at the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission on April 30, but he did not file it until Tuesday, after multiple inquiries from Paterson Press about its status. That report essentially was a duplicate of the April 11 document, showing no change in his contributions or spending.
As of 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Uddin had not filed the third report required by the state. That one was due 20 days after the May 10 election.
Before the election, Uddin had numerous campaigns signs around Paterson, seemingly more than anyone else running for City Council. On Election Day, his campaign workers were present at many polling sites, far exceeding the showing by other candidates.
In April, Uddin said he used money from a real estate deal to invest the $50,000 in his campaign. He said he was self-financing his campaign because he did not want to owe anything to “special interests.”
Paterson Press began asking Uddin about his unfiled campaign finance reports in June. At that time, he attributed the delinquent reports to his campaign manager, Andrew Trenk, saying he worked on other campaigns as well. Uddin didn’t respond when asked a second time about the situation in July.
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On Monday, Uddin told Paterson Press all the reports would be filed that day. His campaign treasurer, Shabbir Ahmad, said he was late submitting the reports because of “a family issue.”
“It’s my fault. I’ll take care of it,” said Ahmad.
Uddin finished 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 editor of Paterson Press.