Hirsh Singh’s never-ending political career has provided entertainment for New Jersey voters. Former political consultant King Penna is suing Singh for not paying the $159,463 invoice from the 2020 Republican U.S. Senate primary.
Two Morristown retirees, Anna and William Riker have filed a lawsuit in July 2022, alleging that they loaned Penna and his consulting firm $70,000 two weeks before the primary election, with the promise that they would be paid back $77,000 in 65 days.
Penna never repaid her debt to them. Penna and his company, Kingmaker Strategies LLC, claim in court documents that Singh never paid an invoice dated July 22, 2020. Penna alleged in his lawsuit that Singh was unjustly profited because of his failure to pay for services rendered to him.
Penna has now filed a motion to compel Singh to pay the debt plus interest and costs associated with the lawsuit. Penna’s stated debt is not shown in any FEC filings. Penna claims he sent an invoice, but no one ever received it. Penna claims the deal was with his company and not with the Rikers individually.
To paraphrase what he said, the Rikers “breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing that is implied in the promissory note, because they have filed suit knowing that repayment hinged upon Hirsh Singh making payment, which he has not done.”
According to their court statement, the Rikers claim they agreed to a loan extension on September 12 for an additional $3,000 in interest and $100 every day afterward until the debt was paid in full on October 20, 2020.
If we add this to the current balance, we reach a total of $156,400. Penna said that Singh’s campaign for the Senate required him to pay for professional graphic design and printing services and that he was therefore in need of monetary assistance.
While no formal complaint has been filed with the Federal Election Commission, the evidence suggests that Penna may have made illegal political contributions. In the primary election to challenge the U.S.
Senator Cory Booker in July 2020, Singh came in second to former U.S. Food and Drug Administration executive Rik Mehta by just two percentage points, 38%-36%. Even though Singh allegedly hadn’t paid Penna for his 2020 services,
Penna handled Singh’s campaign for the Republican nomination for governor the following year. Singh has lost six elections in the last five years, most recently in Atlantic City, where he was running for a position on a condo board.
He has never made it past the Republican primary election process, despite running for governor twice, the Senate twice, and the House of Representatives once. Singh spent months representing himself in court to request a recount after losing to Mehta.
Subsequently, Mehta filed a defamation lawsuit against Singh, which is currently unresolved. There has always been a shady air about Singh’s campaign fundraising. Because he was still a dependent, Singh Sr. was entitled to contribute $1 million to his son’s 2017 gubernatorial campaign.
There has also been some debate about Penna. Melinda Ciattarelli, the wife of Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli, was ambushed by him during an NJ 101.5 debate during last year’s gubernatorial primary, but she easily knocked him out of the way.