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ACLU of Connecticut says town restricts free speech

Associated Press

Publication: theday.com

Published July 26. 2013 9:00AM   Updated July 26. 2013 9:36AM

Winsted (AP) — Winsted town officials have been threatened with legal action over a policy that restricts the content of public comment town meetings.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut has sent a letter informing the town it believes the policy is unconstitutional.

The town bars anyone from making comments that "express personal complaints or defamatory comments" about anyone connected with the town, businesses or individuals, or members of the audience.

The letter stems from a complaint from resident Jay Budahazy, who says his comments about the town's manager were censored at a July 1 meeting.

Winsted Mayor Mary Ann Welcome tells the Republican-American she has not received the letter, but believes the town has the right to keep meetings orderly. She says it's simply common courtesy to be respectful.

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