Westfield’s mayor ordered to pay $53,000 for removing political signs

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WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) -- Westfield’s mayor has been ordered to pay $53,000 in legal fees to two political candidates whose First Amendment rights he violated by ordering their campaign signs removed.

A federal judge in the ruling on the legal fees Monday said the case is now considered closed.

The judge ruled in February that Mayor Daniel Knapik (kuh-NAP’-ik) violated the First Amendment rights of two political rivals and a property owner by ordering signs taken down before an election in 2011. The signs were across the street from Knapik’s house.

Knapik said he ordered the signs removed because they were blocking the view of drivers, making them a safety hazard. No drivers lodged complaints.

Knapik said while he disagrees with the judgment he will pay it because he wants to move forward.


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