Mohamed Albanna is legally barred from assuming a seat on the Lackawanna City Council, according to a ruling issued Wednesday by Supreme Court Judge Tracey A. Bannister.
The ruling capped a court battle between Albanna — who won a general election race in the First Ward against John Ingram — and Mayor Geoffrey Szymanski.
The City Council must now appoint a council member to represent the First Ward, according to state election law.
That appointee must be a registered member of the same political party as current Councilman Abdulsalam Noman, a Democrat. The appointee will serve for one year, after which a primary and general election will select a person to serve the remainder of the term.
"I was disappointed," said Albanna, "not just for me but for all the people who voted for me. We are appealing the decision and hope for a stay and eventual reversal."
"I'm happy the charter was upheld," Szymanski said. "People have tried to make this about religion and race but this was all about the charter. I look forward to working with whomever is appointed. It won't be Mohamed Albanna."