Political consultant admits faking NJ robocalls

PATERSON, N.J./AP — A political consultant has admitted responsibility for a robocall campaign made to seem like it was coming from the rival camp during a 2009 legislative election.

Kevin Collins, a former Wood-Ridge resident who now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating the Fair Campaign Practices Act. He was then sentenced to a year of probation and fined $1,000.

Collins targeted more than 12,000 voters with automated calls attacking Republican incumbent Assemblymen Scott Rumana and David Russo. The calls were made to appear as if they originated from Rumana’s own chief of staff, and Collins admitted Tuesday that he had obtained that person’s cellphone number and used it to arrange the calls

Collins was a paid consultant for two Republican challengers who were defeated by the incumbents.

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