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Brawl Between Paterson Officials Nearly Breaks Out During Council Meeting

Paterson Council Members Mike Jackson and Javier Silva
Paterson Council Members Mike Jackson and Javier Silva Photo Credit: City of Paterson

A Paterson city council meeting nearly turned violent between two elected officials.

The Tuesday, March 14 meeting was a forum open to the public following the police shooting death of Najee Seabrooks earlier this month. 

As a woman was speaking, approximately 90 minutes into the meeting, Paterson Council Member Mike Jackson and Chief Financial Officer Javier Silva stood up and began arguing. 

Police officers and other elected officials tried to intervene. At one point, Jackson can be seen shoving city business administrator, Kathleen Long.

Jackson tells Daily Voice that Silva was mocking youths in the crowd.

"I questioned him, told him he needed to shut up," Jackson tells Daily Voice. "He gestured to get up out of my seat and come toward him. I said 'I’d like to see you do that,' so he got up came walking toward me and I walked toward him."

Police and other elected officials de-escalated the situation.

Mayor Andre Sayegh told Daily Voice that Jackson is a "reckless and ruthless scofflaw. He must be reminded that he is under indictment and is facing prison time."

In rejecting a plea deal last year, Jackson faces more than 26 years in prison for the five counts against him in the mishandling of mail-in ballots, NorthJersey.com reports.

Jackson questioned why Sayegh was commenting on the election fraud case instead of being more outspoken and action-oriented toward the violence in the city.

"The mayor is silent when we have people being shot in the street under his watch," Jackson said.

"He's not commenting on the murder, but he's commenting on me.

"I’ve never been convicted of a crime and I have my day in court... but he's running the city into the ground."

Silva did not return Daily Voice's request for comment placed Thursday morning, March 16.

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