For the past two weeks, residents of the City of Paterson have been closely following the Goow v. Akhtaruzzaman trial, revolving around Mr. Akhtaruzzaman’s residency and now his evidently falsified voter registration forms, which came to light last week. We do not know what the outcome of the trial will be. What we do know is that Mr. Akhtaruzzaman is evasive, contradictory, and clearly does not hold the interests of the 2nd Ward at heart.
Mr. Akhtaruzzaman, for the sake of our neighborhoods, for the sake of the 2nd Ward, and for the sake of the City of Paterson, we request that you resign the council seat that rightfully belongs to us, the residents of the 2nd Ward. That is the essence of democracy. This is not your seat to cling to; it belongs to the people. You are clearly embattled and mired in controversy amid questionable and possibly illegal actions, and you are not able to govern at all, let alone govern effectively. The judge stated you and your counsel should have a “frank” discussion, but you refused to take part in a settlement, which would have required your resignation, which your own legal counsel evidently advocated for and now wishes to be removed from representing you in this case.
If you truly care for the 2nd Ward, if you truly care for the City of Paterson, you must not put us through any more of the shame and disgrace that you have brought to our council seat and our Ward. These are serious times in our City, and we need virtuous individuals to lead us out of the darkness. Mr. Akhtaruzzaman, do not plunge us into darkness any longer. You have had your fifteen infamous minutes in the spotlight. Now, you must do the right thing. We implore you in the strongest of senses to resign immediately and spare the 2nd Ward any further lack of leadership and integrity that is occurring while you occupy our Council seat.
Residents of the 2nd Ward
[Editor's note: This letter was submited by Pete Oneglia, who worked on Goow's campaign, on behalf of 77 2nd Ward residents he said agreed to sign it. Their names are listed below.]
Esther E. Mills
Antonio Mulero, Jr.
Cruz M. Rojas