ROSELLE PARK, NJ - As reported on Friday, a complaint was filed against the Borough of Roselle Park and Mayor Carl Hokanson by the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. The group filed the lawsuit on behalf of local citizens challenging an unconstitutional display featuring what they contend is a Christian cross in front of the Roselle Park Veterans Memorial Library. The names on the complaint show the American Humanist Association, Charlene Storey and her husband Gregory Storey.
When TAPinto Staff reached out to the mayor on Friday afternoon, he had no idea that a suit had been filed. On Sunday afternoon Mayor Carl Hokanson released the following statement.
“It is a disappointment that councilwoman Storey and her husband continue to push a personal agenda with this lawsuit against Roselle Park.
While they have provided a copy of the lawsuit to the press, we have yet to see the complaint. Furthermore, because this is pending litigation, I cannot comment on the lawsuit itself at this time. However, there are a few points I wish to make.
When I donated the “Kneeling Soldier” it was with the utmost respect for ALL VETERANS!! To say that I was singling out a select group was far from the truth. And after the council meeting on August 18, it was clear to me that nearly all of the residents in attendance felt the same way. While there were a few who spoke against it, the majority supported it. Consequently, I had every hope at that time; councilwoman Storey would rescind her law suit.
It is incomprehensible to me that while we struggle to keep our community affordable, that any member of this council would put their own personal needs and agenda above the people we have been elected to serve. I wish to add that councilwoman Storey was approached after the August meeting in an attempt to mediate these differences but she refused.
I strongly believe, like many of you, that this tribute to our veterans should remain as is. However, I will temporarily remove the “Kneeling Soldier” while the Storey lawsuit plays out in court.”
To view the complaint filed by the group, click here.