Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Councilman's Suit over Loss to Be Heard after Rival in Seat

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Councilman's Suit over Loss to Be Heard after Rival in Seat

Article excerpt

PATERSON -- A trial in a councilman's lawsuit accusing his opponent of winning the 2nd Ward election with more than 200 fraudulent mail-in ballots has been scheduled to start in September.

That decision, made on Wednesday by Superior Court Judge Ernest M. Caposela, ensures that Councilman-elect Shahin Khalique will take office during Friday's reorganization meeting.

"It was a great day today," Khalique said.

He replaces the plaintiff, Councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, who said he was disappointed with the scheduling decision. He had hoped the matter would be resolved before the city government reorganization meeting, he said.

"But there's nothing we can do," said the councilman, who became the first Bangladeshi-American in northern New Jersey to be elected to public office when he won the 2nd Ward seat in 2012.

Akhtaruzzaman -- like Khalique -- took office under the cloud of a lawsuit. A legal challenge filed by former Councilman Aslon Goow in 2012 resulted in Akhtaruzzaman's removal from the seat just weeks after his swearing-in because he did not meet the residency requirement. …

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