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Lawsuit filed against Norman city councilman for allegedly violating First Amendment

Councilman Bill Hickman represents Norman's Ward 4.

A man who describes himself as a political organizer in Norman is suing a city councilman for allegedly deleting his posts on a community Facebook page.

The man's lawyer says that violates the constitution.

Norman's Ward 4 Facebook page is a group for residents to post questions, discussion and news articles about the area.

When Casey Holcomb started making critical posts about city councilman Bill Hickman, he says Hickman deleted them.

Some of the contained satirical videos about Hickman.

"The posts that he censored are the satirical videos where I'm poking fun, and making fun of him for this big web of lies that he's had to weave to cover himself over this, which is my opinion," Holcomb said.

Holcomb says he has brought up issues like whether or not Hickman actually lives in the ward he represents.

"I made some funny videos about it, and it got under his skin a little bit, and he probably got a little angry and agitated and decided that he was going to censor them," Holcomb said.

Now, Holcomb and his attorney, Kevin Kemper, have filed a lawsuit in the Cleveland County District Court.

They say censoring or deleting posts like his on a public page violates the First Amendment.

"We're going to ask the court to order him and the city to basically re-post what they deleted," Dr. Kemper said. "Put it back up. And let us see admin logs to be able to know that they've complied with that."

Councilman and mayoral candidate Bill Hickman sent Fox 25 a statement about the lawsuit.

In it he called the lawsuit frivolous, and last-minute theatrics before the election.

Part of it read "These so-called ward pages in Norman were created by citizens and political activists and are not official pages of the city or any city officials."

Last December, Hickman posted an apology about deleting comments on that same Facebook page.

Part of that read "It is my fault and I regret letting what I believed to be personal attacks upset me.

The case will likely go before a judge next week.


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