ederal justice officials are backing a lawsuit by an Albanian Muslim group that claims the township discriminated against it by trying to take its property even as it sought to build a mosque in town.
The U.S. Department of Justice said the township's actions against the Paterson-based Albanian Associated Fund bore the "classic trademarks'' of discrimination. In court papers, the government said there was reason to conclude the township tried to take the property for open space to stop members of the fund from building a mosque and community center in the township.
Mayor Scott Rumana, however, said the Colfax Road property is environmentally unsuitable for development and that is why the township tried to acquire the land through eminent domain.
A federal court hearing on the case is scheduled for Wednesday.[Link]
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