LAVALLETTE — A man who said his arrest and removal from a July 24 borough council meeting illegally prevented him from videotaping it recorded and spoke at Tuesday night’s meeting without incident.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Michael Vintzileos of South Amboy told Mayor Walter LaCicero and council members that following the July 24 incident, he had also recorded the Aug. 7 council meeting without incident.
“What is so bizarre is that I’m sitting here … it is like the same thing but everything is different, everything is happening different,” Mr. Vintzileos said. “Well, I guess that’s progress … so it is nice to see that no one is being arrested here for a common law right.”
Mr. Vintzileos and Steven Wronko were arrested and removed from the July 24 meeting and face an Oct. 10 hearing in Lavallette Municipal Court for “disrupting” that meeting — a charge both men have challenged as false and illegitimate.
Another speaker, Patrick Duff, of Haddon Heights, chided the mayor and council for moving the public comment session to the end of the meeting agenda from its usual place at the start of proceedings. Mr. Duff, who said he blogs about New Jersey “corruption,” accused the officials of making the change to delay hearing from Mr. Vintzileos or anyone else questioning the July 24 arrest.
“You arrested people unconstitutionally in this building for being in the meeting doing the same thing these people are doing,” Mr. Duff said, pointing to two reporters and a photographer who were covering the meeting.
Mayor LaCicero, who did not immediately respond, later told The Ocean Star: “The agenda is mine to set, and I’m not going to make it convenient for them to bother the rest of the citizens.”
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