Felix Roque recall, West New York, New Jersey (2012)
An effort to recall Felix Roque from his position as mayor of West New York, New Jersey, was underway as of May 2012 As of February 2013, the recall effort appeared to have ended without a recall election. In 2010, Roque unsuccessfully organized a recall attempt against former mayor Silverio Vega.
In February 2012, a West New York citizen established a website with the domain name www.recallroque.com. The website contained information encouraging a recall campaign against Roque. Several days after the website appeared, Roque and his son hacked into the site and had it taken down. They also allegedly tracked down the people associated with the site and began intimidating and harassing them. Roque sent a message to one of his opponents that said, "I have always treated you with respect and courtesy, but I have copies of everything sent to the website and communications with names...Remember, I am in the Army with many friends." After being tipped off to Roque's behavior, authorities began an investigation and ultimately filed federal charges against both Roque and his son.
Federal investigation over website hacking
On May 24, 2012, Roque and his son, Joseph Roque, were arrested and charged with hacking into the recall website. The specific charges against Roque and his son include gaining unauthorized access to computers in furtherance of causing damage to protected computers, causing damage to protected computers, and conspiracy to commit those crimes. The father and son duo had an initial appearance before Judge Mark S. Falk in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman released a statement, saying, “in this case, the elected leader of West New York and his son allegedly hacked into computers to intimidate constituents who were simply using the Internet to exercise their constitutional rights to criticize the government."
- The Jersey Journal, "West New York Mayor Felix Roque and his son face federal charges of hacking opposition website," May 25, 2012
- Arts Technica, "New Jersey mayor, son, arrested on charges they nuked recall website," May 24, 2012
- Star-Ledger, "West New York mayor arrested by FBI on hacking charges," May 24, 2012