Press Conference Addressing Ongoing Harassment by Newark Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Quiles

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Puerto Rican Day Parade of Newark, NJComplainant Sonia Vera Denied Access to Courts and Threatened

WHEN: Monday, August 14th at 10:00 AM 
WHERE: Puerto Rican Day Parade of Newark NJ Office
Lombardi Center of Hope
2011 Bloomfield Avenue
Newark, NJ 07104 
CONTACT: Nelson “Butchie” Nieves
973-951-5966 
butchie26@hotmail.com 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Newark, NJ Press conference on Monday, August 14th at 10:00 am. Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement of the City of Newark, Jacqueline Quiles, was appointed to her position in 2015. Since then, her presence in the community has caused distress, controversy and pain to the very community she is supposed to serve. 

This has been documented in the press before (links below). 

Implicated as willing participants to her attacks, denial of City services, denial of access to City facilities to families and children that are part of groups she has targeted, and general unethical behavior to many Newarkers is: 

  • Mayor Ras Baraka 
  • Amiri Baraka, also known as Middy 
  • Filing office at Green Street 
  • Essex County Prosecutor 
  • Municipal Council Members/Public Officials who have not answered appeals for help 

Additional details and an opportunity for the press to ask questions of Sonia Vera and others will be provided at the press conference on Monday, August 14th at 10:00 am at 201 Bloomfield Avenue, Newark NJ 07104. 

Deputy Mayor Quiles has intimidated community members, is believed to have embezzled funds, and poach sponsors for competing festivals, using the power of her office to do so. She has specifically targeted the Puerto Rican Day Parade of Newark, NJ. She has done so because community members associated with the parade were publicly distrustful of her appointment in 2015. They knew her personally and her prior failures with the community in Newark, including mismanaging funds for her personal gain and general irresponsibility. 

This has been an ongoing issue for the past two years. Previous to that Quiles was working in Perth Amboy’s municipal government, and in 2013 had harassment charges filed against her there, by completely different people. She recently committed her most egregious direct attack to a community member. 

On Saturday, July 29th at approximately 11:00pm, community member Sonia Vera left her home in the North Ward with her husband, walking to a nearby food truck for a night snack. Deputy Mayor Quiles was there and upon seeing Sonia Vera, who is the Cultural Programs Coordinator for the Puerto Rican Day Parade of Newark, NJ, became irate, verbally abusing her and threatening to “break her face.” She was visibly very intoxicated and was accompanied by an aide from her office that had to physically restrain Deputy Mayor Quiles from hitting Sonia Vera. 

In the following days, Sonia Vera felt compelled to file charges since she was receiving threatening messages that the Deputy Mayor was “coming for her.” Her first complaint filing took over 7 hours at 31 Green Street. The person filing tried to discourage her from doing so. Mayor Baraka’s brother and Chief of Staff, Amiri Baraka, called Sonia to “try and work it out” and the filing office “lost the file” at 2:30 pm. She had to insist that they complete the filing again, and insist on signing and retaining a copy and court date. They deliberately omitted information from the complaint. 

A probable cause hearing was held at Green Street on Monday, August 7th, where the Judge promptly dismissed the case, and did not allow Sonia Vera to speak. Upon leaving the court, she was approached by Amiri Baraka to ask her to not go through with the complaint because it would hurt his brother. 

Sonia attempted to file for an appeal at Essex County Courts on Thursday August, 10th and was told that the statutes were wrong by the Prosecutor. When asked if he would give her the right statutes, he informed her that wasn’t his job. The Prosecutor then advised her to “save your time and energy and just talk to Middy and work it out.” 

Throughout the past two weeks, witnesses to the incident were intimidated to step forward with video, fearing retribution. Bribes were offered to other food vendors who saw the incident on July 29th, or who saw Deputy Mayor Quiles’ state of public drunkenness before or after the incident. The bribes offered were done so by Deputy Mayor Quiles herself, in the form of waiving fees (up to $1,000) for the vendors to be present at the city’s Latin Festival held last Sunday. She attempted the bribery on Sunday, July 30th. 

Many people who have been intimidated, approached or attempted to be bribed, have not stepped forward due to intimidation by Deputy Mayor Quiles, and her use of the power of her office, as well as the office of the Mayor and his name. This creates difficulty in providing concrete evidence. 

Thankfully, Sonia Vera and other Newark residents are stepping forward to speak on the damage Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Quiles continues to cause. 

Additional details and an opportunity for the press to ask questions of Sonia Vera and others will be provided at the press conference on Monday, August 14th at 10:00 am at 201 Bloomfield Avenue, Newark NJ 07104. 

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