From today’s NorthJersey.com/Record news story:
Judge upholds First Amendment counts in blogger’s suit against Lyndhurst mayor
Nicholas Katzban, NorthJersey.com Published 5:00 a.m. ET Nov. 13, 2019
A four-year-old federal lawsuit against Lyndhurst Mayor Robert Giangeruso by a former Bergen County Housing Authority executive director moved forward last week.
Judge Madeline Cox Arleo upheld three First Amendment violations counts and dismissed three counts of alleged infliction of emotional distress from the suit.
The suit was filed in 2015 by David Sivella, who had by then resigned from the housing authority and as the township’s assistant planner. The suit alleges Giangeruso launched an investigation into Sivella’s municipal job in retaliation for his cooperation with an investigation into alleged federal housing-subsidy violations by the mayor.
Sivella’s suit claims his sworn statements to authorities constitute a protected form of free speech. Giangeruso’s alleged negative actions against Sivella were retaliatory and violate his First Amendment rights, said Sivella’s attorney, Joel Silberman.
Sivella now operates Lyndhurst07071.com, a blog where he takes aim at township leaders with accusations of cronyism and corruption.
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Sivella cooperated with HUD leading to FBI investigation and loss of Section 8 housing funds to Giangeruso; Lyndhurst Police were then improperly directed by Mayor to investgate Sivella
READ THE COURT’S OFFICIAL ORDER HERE:
GET THE PDF VERSION OF THE COURT ORDER HERE: