3rd Circuit backs removal of critic from city council meeting

Monday, April 25, 2011

A federal appeals panel ruled 2-1 that Erie, Pa., City Councilman Fiore Leone didn’t violate the First Amendment rights of council critic Dan Galena when he had the man escorted out of a meeting in 2007. Leone said Galena was removed only because he spoke up after a public comment period had ended. On April 13, the divided 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld a federal judge’s 2010 decision finding that Leone’s actions were permissible. The Erie (Pa.) Times-News reported on April 25 that the court found Leone had Galena removed in order to restore order at the meeting, not to censor him.

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