Lawyers Spar over Akhataruzzman's Membership Listing in Bengali Community Group

August 6, 2012 at 1:11 PM

 

PATERSON, NJ – In proceedings colored by increasingly antagonistic exchanges between the competing lawyers, Councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzman’s membership in a Bengali community group was the focus of testimony Monday morning in the trial of a lawsuit seeking to have him removed from office.

The attorney for former Councilman Aslon Goow, who filed the lawsuit challenging Akhtaruzzman’s residency in the recent 2nd Ward City Council election, produced in court what he described as a 2011-2013 voter registration list for the Jalalabad Association of America Inc. that said Akhtaruzzman’s address was 105 Jefferson Place in Totowa.

Sign Up for E-News

Goow’s lawyer, Michael DeMarco, was attempting to show that Akhtaruzzman voted in the group’s organizational election using the Totowa address in July 2011. In order to have been eligible to run for city council, Akhtaruzzman had to live in Paterson’s 2nd Ward by May 2011.

But the validity of the Jalalabad book quickly came into question.

“We’re looking at a book with pages ripped out, this is ridiculous,’’ said one of Akhtaruzzman’s lawyers, Joe Garcia.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Brogan said the book could not be used as evidence in the case, but the judge allowed DeMarco to use it as a reference to question one of the witnesses, Aziz Rahman, Akhtaruzzman’s campaign treasurer and vice president of Jalalabad.

Rahman testified that different members of the group keep their own versions of the membership voting book and he said that the information in them is not always accurate. Rahman also testified that it was not clear exactly when Akhtaruzzman filled out his Jalalabad registration listing the Totowa address.

When asked by DeMarco whether Akhtaruzzman was a member of the group, Rahman said, “I can’t recall it…I don’t know. I’ll have to check.’’

The clashes between the lawyers happened several times. At one point, one of Akhtaruzzman’s lawyers, Curtis La Forge, was reviewing the Jalalabad book when DeMarco barked at him: “Can I have the book?’’

“You don’t need to yell,’’ La Forge snapped back.

At various times during the morning, Brogan admonished lawyers on both sides for their behavior. He told La Forge to stop coaching witnesses through his objections, and he chastised DeMarco for making inappropriate comments during his questioning.

“Please, stop it,’’ Brogan told the lawyers.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Fri, August 26, 4:00 PM

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, Paterson

Centennial Art in the Park Showcase

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, August 26, 4:00 PM

Overlook Park—a part of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, Paterson

Centennial Art in the Park Showcase

Arts & Entertainment Education Other

Some Like it Hot

“Oh boy!” exclaimed my husband. “There’s a hot sauce shop in town!”

We were away antiquing for the weekend in a quaint village populated by Bed and Breakfasts, art galleries, and apparently, a hot sauce shop. For my husband, this was like discovering that someone had bought you a lottery ticket and you won… if the lottery prize was a fireball that would ...

Man Sentenced to 10-Years for Oxycodone Distribution, Officials Say

August 21, 2016

MAN SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR LEADING RING THAT DISTRIBUTED

OVER ONE THOUSAND OXYCODONE PILLS PER WEEK IN NORTHERN NEW JERSEY

Division of Criminal Justice, Passaic County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. DEA led “Operation White Silk”

 

TRENTON – Aurelio Gutierrez, 62, of Paterson, was sentenced yesterday, Aug. 17, to 10 years in state prison by ...