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Candidate sues Village of Herkimer over signage law

By By EMMA WRIGHT

HERKIMER, NY (WKTV) - A candidate for Herkimer County Family Court Judge is suing the Village of Herkimer. Mary Iocovozzi says the Village is violating her First Amendment rights. Iocovozzi has filed a federal complaint against the Village because code laws say her banner-style campaign signs are too large.

Current law dictates political signs must be no larger than five square feet and no more than 34 inches from the ground.

Iocovozzi received a letter from the Village of Herkimer in May about her over-sized signs. She says she tied to deal with the issue informally.

"I was told by the Village if you don't like our ordinance you can challenge us," she says. "You can't be more restrictive for political speech than you can be for commercial speech."

The Village of Herkimer Board of Trustees says the signage law is in place to keep the community looking nice. Mayor Mark Ainsworth says they are not trying to violate anyone's rights.

"We had billboards all over the Village," Ainsworth said. "They were cluttering up our highways and our streets. It's the same law for everyone."

The Village Board of Trustees has hired an acting attorney to deal with the issue in federal court.

Iocovozzi says she would like the Village to repeal the law.

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