PATERSON, NJ – City taxpayers likely will pick up the tab for Councilman Aslon Goow’s legal fees in a criminal complaint filed against him by the owner of the New Jersey Pulse monthly newspaper.
The City Council on Tuesday night is scheduled to approve a resolution for the city to pay a maximum $3,500 for Goow’s lawyers.
The resolution says the charges stemmed from an incident at a city council meeting on Oct. 26, 2010 when Goow was council president. Goow and the newspaper’s owner, Sirrano Keith Baldeo, had an argument at that meeting and Goow eventually called for a city police officer to have Baldeo removed from the chambers. Baldeo has accused Goow of misconduct and harassment.
Baldeo has brought charges and lawsuits against various other city officials, including Councilman Andre Sayegh and school board member Jonathan Hodges. He previously had indicated that he also planned to file a civil lawsuit against Goow. Baldeo could not be reached for comment for this story.
City Council President Anthony Davis said officials have little choice but to pay Goow’s fees because the charges against him involve his work on the city council. Councilman Kenneth Morris agreed that the charges clearly fit the requirements for an official acting within the scope of his official duties.
Under the resolution, Goow can pick whatever attorney he chooses at a maximum rate of $125 per hour.