SARATOGA SPRINGS — A city court appearance by Chandler Hickenbottom scheduled to take place this week has been rescheduled for April 24.
The violation charge made against Hickenbottom, a Saratoga BLM activist, has come under much scrutiny after the disturbing-a-lawful-assembly charge was requested by City Council member and Public Safety Commissioner Jim Montagnino.
Montagnino, one of five City Council members, said he filed the charge in response to a disruption of a Feb. 7 City Council meeting. “The City Council meeting was ended. It wasn’t delayed, it wasn’t’ interrupted, it was ended,” Montagnino said. That council meeting was subsequently adjourned early and eventually resumed two days later.
The four other members of the City Council have publicly expressed disapproval of the action brought by their fellow Democrat public safety commissioner.
Hickenbottom pleaded not guilty to the disorderly conduct charge during her arraignment at Saratoga Springs City Court on March 7. She was accompanied by her attorney Mark Mishler who told the court that the allegations infringe and violate Hickenbottom’s protected First Amendment rights.
Both Saratoga Springs City Judges - Jeffrey Wait and Francine Vero – apparently withdrew from hearing the case. Mechanicville City Court Judge Constantine DiStefano instead took the position at the judge’s bench.
An additional filing by the commissioner for an order of protection was denied on March 7 by Judge DiStefano.
All parties were scheduled to return to city court on March 28. That court date has now been moved to April 24.