Breaking Legal News - POSTED: 2011/02/23 18:50
A village outside New York City has decided to appeal to a federal court ruling that led to an unusual voting system and the election of its first Hispanic trustee.
The Port Chester board of trustees voted 4-2 Tuesday night to hire a law firm to appeal a finding that local elections were unfair to Hispanics.
The board authorized up to $225,000 in taxpayer funds for the appeal, an amount that would grow if the case were retried. The village spent about $1.2 million on the original case.
"We are confident we have a powerful appeal," village spokesman Aldo Vitagliano said Wednesday. He said a recent Supreme Court case has bolstered Port Chester's contention that white support for Hispanic candidates in previous elections was strong enough to satisfy the federal Voting Rights Act.
In a letter to the Journal News of White Plains earlier this month, trustee Joseph Kenner said an appeal could "remove the shameful and unwarranted stigma of the judge's ruling."
The Department of Justice, which brought the case, had no comment, said spokesman Herb Hadad.