Updated 2.24.21 9:06 a.m.
A day after Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut announced his candidacy for the Ward E City Council seat, a bill before the legislature that would have potentially barred him from running was amended. The bill was sponsored by State Senator Nicholas Sacco, an ally of Mayor Steven Fulop.
Phil Swibinski, spokesperson for Hudnut and Team Fulop, said the “story is completely false. This issue is a total coincidence, and neither Mayor Fulop nor Jake Hudnut had any role in this amendment being added to the bill whatsoever. In fact, they only became aware of the amendment at all earlier this evening when they were contacted about it by another reporter. To say that this is some kind of “special treatment” is preposterous — the restrictions in the bill never applied to municipal prosecutors at any time.”
Matt Friedman of Politico New Jersey tweeted that he spoke with the amendment’s co-sponsor, Dick Codey. Codey told him that someone, who he would not identify, requested the amendment. Cody “doesn’t believe it had anything to do with Hudnut.”
The bill as originally written bars all county prosecutors, assistant prosecutors and legal assistants to prosecutors from seeking elective office and engaging in certain political activity for three years after leaving the job. Last Friday — a day after Hudnut announced that he was running — a provision was added and approved providing that the prohibition “shall not apply to a municipal prosecutor, assistant municipal prosecutor, or legal assistant to a municipal prosecutor.”