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A.C. councilman facing federal charges is barred from contact with Callaways

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An Atlantic City councilman accused of filing fraudulent voter registrations is barred from contacting two men known for bringing mail-in ballots to a winning artform.

Councilman MD Hossain Morshed, 49, was released on $100,000 unsecured bond Friday, with conditions that included he have no contact with Craig or David Callaway, according to a court document obtained by BreakingAC.

There is no indication as to why the brothers are named. They declined comment, saying they had not heard about the stipulation.

A condition of release includes no contact with the Callaway brothers, who are listed as possibly being "a victim or witness in the investigation or prosecution..."

The names are under the provision that says to "avoid all contact, directly or indirectly, with any person who is or may be a victim or witness in the investigation or prosecution."

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office pointed to the "victim or witness" line when asked about the condition. The office is releasing no further comment.

Morshed's successful 2019 bid to be the Fourth Ward's Democratic nominee in a five-candidate race was boosted by 341 mail-in ballots, which was about 89 percent of the 383 votes cast that way.

He lost at the voting booths by more than 2½ to 1 behind Constance Days-Chapman, who had the backing of Mayor Marty Small.

She was Small's campaign manager in his 2021 re-election bid.

Small declined comment about the new information.

Morshed was released to the custody of Muhsin Sultan, according to the federal filing. It was not clear what their relationship is.

He must live at Sultan's address in Egg Harbor Township.

It was not clear if that would impact his ability to remain a councilman.

Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman called for Morshed to step down shortly after the charges became public.

The mayor said he would not be making any comment on what the councilman should do.

Conditions of release include that Morshed surrender his passport and is limited to travel within the state unless preapproved by Pretrial Services.

"(M)ental health testing and/or treatment as directed by Pretrial Services" are another requirement of his release.

In addition to the fraudulent voter registrations charge, Morshed also is accused of lying to the FBI and illegally obtaining unemployment benefits for a total of $39,208, while he continued to collect his council salary as well as additional money as a ride-share driver.

author

Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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