Paterson Top Stories

Judge Will Rule on Akhtaruzzaman Trial on September 7

1afdd9145168a3cdff9d_mohammed20.jpg
1afdd9145168a3cdff9d_mohammed20.jpg

PATERSON, NJ – Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman will remain a City Councilman for at least another month.

The trial in former Councilman Aslon Goow’s lawsuit to have Akhtaruzzaman removed from office ended early Tuesday afternoon and Superior Court Judge Thomas Brogan said he would render his ruling in the case on September 7.

Akhtaruzzaman stunned political leaders in May when he defeated Goow, a three-term incumbent, by about 460 votes in the 2nd Ward Council election. In many ways, Akhtaruzzaman’s win was seen as a triumph for Paterson's emerging Bengali community as much as it was a victory for the man who became the first person from Bangladesh to be elected to public office in North Jersey.

Sign Up for E-News

But Goow quickly challenged the election, asserting that Akhtaruzzaman had not fulfilled the requirement that he live in the 2nd Ward for at least a year before the election. Goow maintained that Akhtaruzzaman had moved from Totowa too late to comply with the residency requirement.

In the course of the trial, which started on July 23, Goow’s lawyer, Michael DeMarco, tried to undermine Akhtaruzzaman’s credibility by highlighting contradictions and inconsistencies in various official documents the councilman filled out or signed during the time he was supposed to live in Paterson. That included an emergency food stamp application Akhtaruzzaman submitted in September 2011 that said he lived in Totowa, his daughter’s school registration information that said she lived in Totowa at that time, and a voter registration form from March 2011 that listed an inaccurate Paterson address for him.

But Akhtaruzzaman’s lead attorney, Joe Garcia, had asserted during the trial that there was no evidence presented by DeMarco that confirmed the councilman had lived in Totowa other than innuendo and inference. Garcia said election law set the standard for residency as “a candidate’s intent manifest by some credible action.’’ Garcia maintained that the evidence in the case showed Akhtaruzzaman intent was to live in Paterson and that it was manifest by a variety of actions.

Brogan said on Monday that testimony in the case had raised a “question of doubt” about where Akhtaruzzaman lived. But whether the judge believes those doubts were strong enough to have him removed from office won’t be clear until September 7.

At first, there was no one from the Bengali community at the trial. But in recent days, the crowd of Akhtaruzzaman supporters grew and grew to the point that he had about two dozen backers behind him. It was Bengali community leaders who two weeks ago decided to cover Akhtaruzzaman’s legal expenses and helped him remain the services of an additional lawyer, Curtis La Forge, to help on the case.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_3f27a97645e7103f9868_flyer__courthouse_plaza_programs_2018-page-001

Tue, July 24, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Carousel_image_efec3d39ddc6008dd11e_4a256201-8c0a-450c-b62e-8a761d6f5b83

Thu, July 26, 6:00 PM

Vreeland Ave. Park, Paterson

Occupy Vreeland Ave. Park

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar

Carousel_image_3f27a97645e7103f9868_flyer__courthouse_plaza_programs_2018-page-001

Tue, July 31, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Readers Says Let Developer Bring Paterson Back

July 13, 2018

Dear Editor: 

It is no secret that Paterson is in dire need of revitalizing, restructuring, rebuilding, and, quite frankly, rebranding. As a city, we have struggled to pay our municipal debt, to reduce crime substantially, to create sustainable employment opportunities for our youth and to provide assistance for our city’s most vulnerable residents. 

Today, we face an uphill ...

Murphy Administration Takes Action to Help Smokers Quit

July 19, 2018

Eliminates Prior Approval for Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Medications; Counseling Options to be Expanded

July 16, 2018

(TRENTON) – The Murphy administration on Monday announced new steps to help New Jersey Medicaid recipients quit using tobacco by making it easier to receive tobacco cessation medications and counseling.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death ...

Pascrell, Renacci, Senators Celebrate House Approval of Congressional Gold Medal to Baseball Pioneer Larry Doby

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) hailed the passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 1861, the Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act. The legislation awards the Congressional Gold Medal to the late baseball star, Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947.

“A proud ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 12, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Big Plans for Small Park in Newark’s North Ward

NEWARK, NJ- An under-utilized pocket park on Mt. Prospect Avenue in Newark’s North Ward has become a symbol of what can be accomplished in neighborhoods throughout the city through effective public-private partnerships. 

The park’s supporters have big plans for the public space, located directly across the street from the busy North Ward Center, located in an historic ...

I'm Sorry Mr. Jackson... I Am For Real

July 8, 2018

Hello again, Paterson. 

So much has changed since the last time I’ve written… as I’d hoped, Andre Sayegh is our new mayor and it seems an exciting new dawn is upon us. I think when any change comes, especially one as major as this, there is an opportunity for reflection as well as for hope. This election taught me quite a bit, seeing some of the best and worst sides of ...

RU Ready for Rutgers Football? Tickets on Sale

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - There's a lot of promotions planned this fall as part of the Rutgers football season.

Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12, with seven home games. There's matchups against Big Ten East opponents Michigan and Penn State, and a first-time cross divisional meeting with Northwestern.

If football is not your thing, there's plenty ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

Belmar Parasail: Soar Into Summer with a High-Flying Adventure Along the Beachfront

BELMAR, NJ — As Belmar finally basks in picture-perfect weather, it may be time to check off a summer activity on your bucket list. And for many, parasailing is one of those “must-do” experiences.

At Belmar Parasail, the season is in full swing, offering boat trips from the Belmar Manutti Marina to the beachfront where passengers are lifted 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean ...