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Political sign battle will go another round

by Matthew Call

January 6, 2000

The dispute over political signs between Ward 5 School Committee member Susan Heyman and Brenda Loew, her challenger in last November's election, will continue even though a second judicial arbiter has taken himself out of the proceedings.

Appealing a decision made in November, Loew took her complaint against both Heyman and her husband, Ken Heyman, to court again last week but decided to wait for another judge.

Just as the hearing was about to begin last Wednesday, Judge Steven Ostrach told the courtroom that Alan Posner, an attorney representing Ken Heyman, had given him his first job. Although he said that it would not affect his judgment either way, Loew's attorney, her brother Elliott Loew, asked for the case to heard again by a different judge.

"My client expressed reservations, because of the public interest," Elliott Loew said.

Loew is accusing Heyman of taking down her campaign signs in October, before the school committee election eventually won by Heyman. Police said that 20 signs for Loew were found in the car of Susan and Ken Heyman after the couple had driven to Newton police headquarters. Susan Heyman asserts the signs were posted on public property, which is against the law, and that she and her husband had gathered the signs with the intention of turning them over to the police.

A court magistrate ruled in November that there was not enough evidence to support larceny charges against the Heymans, who were charged with larceny under $250, prompting Loew to appeal.

Coincidentally, Newton District Court Magistrate Henry Shultz recused himself during the first hearing in this case late last year, for the same reason, as he was friends with the father of Susan Heyman's lawyer, Lawrence Oakstein.

The appeal is scheduled to be heard again in late February in front of Judge Dyanne Klein.

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