Judge: City, City Council must accommodate Councilman Harry Silver

Will return to City Council virtually on Tuesday
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 5:47 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - A federal judge has ruled that the City of Alexandria and the Alexandria City Council must accommodate Councilman Harry Silver (District 4) by allowing him to attend council meetings virtually. The decision dropped Monday evening from Judge Dee Drell.

The decision comes after a Thursday virtual hearing using Zoom in which attorneys for the 98-year-old Silver argued that he was being discriminated against under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act.

Silver has missed city council meetings since February due to medical ailments and the COVID-19 pandemic, of which he is highly susceptible to contracting due to his age and existing medical conditions.

Silver sued the City and City Council President Jules Green last month. Attorneys representing the City and Green claimed that allowing Silver to attend meetings virtually violated state law and open meeting rules.

Judge Drell wrote in his 12-page ruling that “Mr. Silver seeks a reasonable accommodation,” and that his attendance “benefits the public’s interests.”

The next city council meeting is set for Tuesday.

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