TRENTON-The Office of the Attorney General on Tuesday announced charges against the township council of the City of Mahwah for practices against the Orthodox Jewish community it felt were in violation of the community member’s civil rights.
Attorney General Christopher Porrino, in that same release, issued stern words for towns in New Jersey engaging in similar conduct. It was a warning that made the front page of Today’s Asbury Park Press, in their story, “Will Jackson Be Sued?“.
Today, we reached out to Porrino’s office to ask that question directly, “Is Jackson next?”
“As a general rule we don’t comment with respect to who, or what, we might be investigating, or with regard to pending or possible litigation,” said Leland Moore a representative of the AG’s Division of Civil Rights. “I would simply point you to the AG’s comments as quoted in the Mahwah press release from Tuesday, particularly the one near the end, that addresses this concern in a broader-than-Mahwah sense.”
Moore was referring to the following quote by the Attorney General in Wednesday’s release, indicating it could be a warning for Jackson Township and other towns currently engaging in enacting legislation targeting the Orthodox communities.
“Our duty is to uphold the law, even when the fight might be unpopular and regardless of whether we have the winds of protest or political favor at our backs,” Porrino said. “Our message to those public officials in Mahwah who are leading or following this misguided charge is meant to be loud and clear: We intend to hold you accountable. Our message to local officials in other towns who may be plotting to engage in similar attempts to illegally exclude is the same: We will hold you accountable as well.”
Township officials, including Mayor Michael Reina and the township council in Jackson have refused to comment thus far on the Attorney General’s charges in Mahwah or how it may affect Jackson Township.