NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — A so-called “I-Team” report by WNBC TV last night identified a local Police Officer as a central figure in an alleged voter fraud scheme in the Township of North Bergen.
The report by Jonathan Dienst, the station’s Chief Investigative Reporter, accused Police Officer Mark Francin of being intimidated into voting illegally, and implying the officer may also be guilty of tax fraud and bank fraud.
Although Dienst was informed in writing over a month ago that Francin hasn’t voted anywhere since 2014, he deliberately excluded that easily documented fact from his story. A local NBC News producer named David Paredes was also informed, in writing, of the truth about Francin.
“Dienst and Paredes were told that Detective Francin has not voted in many years and no longer considers himself a voter,” said Paul Swibinski, a spokesman for the Township. “But they decided to go ahead and smear this officer’s good name anyway just to advance their phony story. Using a person who hasn’t voted anywhere in five years as a prime example of ongoing voter fraud is either the height of journalistic incompetence, an obvious political bias, or just plain arrogance.”
Swibinski says there is plenty of real voter fraud for NBC News to investigate happening all over the country. Minority voters are being disenfranchised in North Carolina, where a new congressional election had to be called. Polling places are disappearing in Southern states with large African-American and Hispanic populations and early voting hours are being curtailed.
“But NBC News thinks falsely attacking this fine police officer who hasn’t even voted anywhere in five years is more newsworthy, he said.”
“When veteran journalists deliberately omit a key fact, and don’t care about the damage their dishonest reporting causes, this so-called I-Team more closely resembles a Lie Team.” Swibinski added.
Swibinski says Francin told him that he is speaking with his union representatives and legal counsel today to decide how to protect his name and reputation from dishonest attacks by NBC News. “Detective Francin has teenage children who are unfortunately being impacted by these lies on social media. He is also a youth recreation coach with an exemplary record. None of this matters to Dienst and Paredes.”
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