Acting Council President Anibal Ramos Jr. today announced that he is withdrawing his name from litigation in a legal dispute involving an effort to fill a vacant council seat in Newark.
The case stems from an effort in November 2012 when the city council voted to appoint former Newark Public Schools Advisory Board member Shanique Davis Speight to the at-large seat vacated by Council President Donald Payne, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The vote was tied 4-4 with Mayor Cory Booker breaking the tie. However, council members who opposed Speight’s appointment raised a legal objection as to whether Booker had the authority to break the tie.
The four members objecting to Speight’s appointment, Councilmen Ras Baraka, Ronald Rice, Darrin Sharif and Councilwoman Mildred Crump filed suit against Ramos, Mayor Cory Booker, City Clerk Ron Marasco and Councilmen Augusto Amador, Luis A. Quintana and Carlos M. Gonzalez. The case is currently before the state Appellate Division.
Ramos’s decision to not pursue the appeal means the case ends and will not be heard by the judicial panel.
“I am withdrawing from this appeal to focus on my mayoral campaign,” Ramos said. “As the legal process dragged on, it became clear to me that it no longer made sense to continue fighting this legal battle since the voters will have an opportunity to pick the candidate of their choice at the ballot box this November.”