October 20, 2021

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O’burg residents sue mayor over Facebook access

OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) – 4 folks who stay in Ogdensburg are suing Mayor MIke Skelly, declaring Skelly blocked them from his Facebook webpage.

The four claim “the blocked users can not view or take part in any conversations concerning the Metropolis enterprise reflected in the Mayor’s posts” and due to the fact of that, their constitutional legal rights are remaining violated.

Contacted by 7 News Tuesday early morning, Mayor Skelly experienced no comment.

The 4 – Cynthia Layng, Douglas Loffler, Brian Mitchell, and Angela McRoberts – assert in a federal lawsuit submitted Friday in Plattsburgh that Skelly blocked each and every of them soon after they ended up significant of the mayor on his Facebook website page.

Skelly’s “viewpoint-based mostly exclusion of (the people suing) from his formal Fb profile filters the speech in that forum and brings about a chilling influence for others from equally expressing dissenting viewpoints,” according to the lawsuit.

They’re inquiring a judge to order Skelly to unblock them, and not block anybody else. They’re also searching for revenue.

Basically, they assert Skelly takes advantage of his Facebook web site as a place to focus on metropolis enterprise.

According to the lawsuit:

– In the scenario of Layng, in a discussion of a city council conference, she used the word “idiots” to describe some of the persons commenting. That prompted Skelly to block her.

– In the case of Loffler, he criticized Skelly’s leadership capabilities soon after Skelly printed a Fb article, stating he required blue light bulbs at the Ogdensburg hearth section taken down. Those people bulbs had been placed to honor an Ogdensburg city law enforcement officer who fully commited suicide. Skelly blocked him.

– In the case of Mitchell, he was blocked two times, once in November 2020 for making a “dissenting comment” and then – obtaining confident Skelly to unblock him – was blocked yet again in December when he questioned a single of Skelly’s Fb posts about the hearth section.

– In the case of McRoberts, she was blocked soon after asking issues about town supervisor Stephen Jellie’s qualifications to be metropolis supervisor.

The lawsuit statements other men and women – not named – have also been blocked.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Town Manager Stephen Jellie issued the adhering to statement:

The Metropolis of Ogdensburg will handle the make any difference presented by the so-known as “Citizen’s Observe Group” as it pertains to the Mayor when official notification is gained from a courtroom of jurisdiction that has not yet happened regardless of the hurry by this so-termed group to assert credit score for the most up-to-date exploit to impede the progress of the metropolis. It is unfortunate that a pretty modest team of people proceeds to endeavor the disruption of town authorities and to above throw an election they did not like the benefits of. Their action in the name of protecting the local community and in search of transparency is a vailed (sic) try to disguise the serious agenda of drawing interest to fictional tales of corruption, completely wrong-carrying out and mismanagement. Their habits in community, on social media and at metropolis council meetings does not reflect citizens trying to be heard they are unprofessional, rude, foul-mouthed, intoxicated, invasive, threatening and intend only to make controversy so crucial business simply cannot be attained these are not the functions of citizens.

Mayor Skelly’s administration is doing work tirelessly to ensure the survival of the metropolis since defeating a entirely dysfunctional administration that led the metropolis to the brink of individual bankruptcy and when defeated they took hasty motion to solidify irresponsible and unaffordable contracts with the Police and Fireplace Unions, all in an try to generate a wedge among the new City Administration and its Unions, which it was successful in performing. The rhetoric crammed actions of this group so-named “Citizen’s Watch” is shameless and none of it will be forgotten by the Metropolis voters when it seriously issues. Mayor Skelly and the City Staff remain targeted on completely bettering general public protection, minimizing taxes, advancing the neighborhood economic climate and delivering entire world-class leisure services for the youth. The revival of the Metropolis started out some time in the past and the Town phone calls on this smaller group to stop the self-serving, mob-like conduct that only serves to stall progress and be a part of the progressive endeavours needed to increase the local community for long run generations.

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