PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — Paterson Councilman Rigo Rodriguez said he will not resign even though he faces charges stemming from a voter fraud investigation.

Rodriguez spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since his arrest earlier this month.

READ MORE: Former Aide Accusing Gov. Cuomo Of Sexual Harassment Says She Believes Governor Was Propositioning Her For Sex

The Record reports Rodriguez asked the public for the “benefit of the doubt.” He said the charges were part of a plot to divide the minority community in Paterson.

READ MORE: Gov. Lamont Lifts Most COVID Capacity Limits In Connecticut, But Maintains Mask Mandate

The 38-year-old councilman, his wife and his adviser are charged with witness tampering.

Eleven of the councilman’s supporters are accused of tampering with mail-in ballots and filling out mail-in ballots for voters who either did not receive them or did not authorize them to vote for them in the May election.

MORE NEWS: 'Isolation Kills, Too': New Jersey Families Beg Governor To Loosen Long-Term Care Facility Visitation Restrictions

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)