Woman sues Troy City Council after claiming she was victim of censorship

Published On: Apr 17 2013 06:33:11 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 17 2013 06:36:26 PM EDT
TROY, Mich. -

There is a battle brewing over free speech in Troy after a woman says City Council deprived her of the right to speak during meetings.

That woman, Charlene Femminineo, is now planning a lawsuit against the city.

Femminineo has called Troy home for two decades, but now she is suing the city, along with all the members of City Council, after she claims they removed her from meetings.

"They all got, said no no you can't talk, we're not going to talk about this kind of stuff. We're not going to have this kind of comments, please sit down," Femminineo said.

Femminineo took to the podium at two different meetings last year to speak during the public comment portion. She admits she called council members dishonest and at times corrupt.

Femminineo says she was then ordered out of the meetings or else face jail time. She says her comments were later edited from the meetings video.

"This is unconstitutional. I have a right to free speech and I can make those remarks, they're public officials and I have a perfect right to question any of the public officials as to their conduct," said Femminineo.

City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm confirms the city is aware of the suit and says she plans to fight it. Bluhm describes Femminineo behavior during meetings as unruly.

"The law allows us to have rules and City Council was enforcing the rules that are in place. Again, to make sure that the public, you know, the public comment is not abused," said Bluhm .

Femminineo is seeking damages from the city, but she wouldn't specify an amount.

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