Storeowner Can Restore 'Geno Is God' Sign
Sign Causes Dispute In East Hartford
POSTED: 2:18 p.m. EST November 13, 2002
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- East Hartford officials have yielded to a storeowner in a dispute over zoning, religion and the First Amendment.
The Connecticut Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue East Hartford officials over their order that Ken Bernacky, owner of a stereo repair store, remove a sign in his window stating that "Geno is God." The message referred to Geno Auriemma, coach of the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team.
Town officials cited zoning regulations that call for temporary signs celebrating a specific event to be removed after two months. Bernacky has posted the sign each year during the NCAA women's basketball championship.
Parishioners at nearby Saint John's Episcopal Church complained to town officials.
Mayor Timothy Larson said the town's lawyer advised officials they may regulate the sign's size. Larson said Bernacky can replace the sign if it covers no more than 25 percent of the window.
Bernacky said Wednesday town officials notified him he may restore the sign. He said the size limits are acceptable
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