A local publisher in Paterson filed criminal charges against the city council for shutting down public comment without allowing him to speak. A motion was made and seconded, and a council vote abruptly closed the public comment portion. Since people typically seek civil remedies when protocol at a public meeting doesn’t meet legal standards, the outcome of a case alleging criminal misconduct could have significant repercussions. Another issue in this case may involve the propriety of council members abruptly motioning and voting to close the public comment portion. The person running the meeting, typically the mayor, would seem to have an obligation under the OPMA to first ask public attendees if any other persons wish to speak.
NorthJersey.com | Paterson Press
Paterson: Publisher files misconduct charges vs. 7 city council members
by Joe Malinconico
Aug. 17, 2017