NEW BEDFORD — Evangelos "Gilly" Safioleas was fined $100 for disrupting a 2016 City Council meeting with his clapping, following a bench trial Thursday in New Bedford District Court, according to court documents.
Judge John Stapleton found Safioleas "responsible," after Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III's office decided to prosecute him in a civil proceeding on a charge of trespassing, according to Patrick Walsh, a clerk-magistrate in New Bedford District Court.
The judge gave Safioleas until Nov. 13 to pay the fine, according to court documents.
Safioleas was arrested during an October 2016 City Council meeting when his applause during a discussion caused then-City Council President Linda Morad to halt the meeting and ask that police be called. Several officers and Councilor-at-Large Brian K. Gomes tried to convince Safioleas to leave before his arrest, but he refused, saying he had done nothing wrong.
Police also escorted Safioleas out of a council meeting in February 2016, after Morad had requested police for the same reason, saying Safioleas’ clapping had broken Morad’s strict rules of decorum during council meetings. Safioleas left City Hall that night without being arrested.