Wareham District Court. Credit: Christopher Rosonina / For The New Bedford Light

A clerk magistrate denied The New Bedford Light’s request for public access to Southcoast Health CEO Keith Hovan’s show cause hearing on a possible charge of possessing illegal ammunition magazines. A justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has since halted the proceeding and is weighing The Light’s appeal to open the hearing. Here’s how some readers reacted to the news on Facebook: 

The justice system is not for the rich and powerful, duh. It’s only to prosecute the poor.

Matthew Daniels

A “show cause hearing” should not be held (in private). Hovan is a public figure in charge of one of the region’s most important public institutions. I believe people have the right to know about the disposition of the case. 

This is particularly true given silence from the Southcoast Health board of directors.

So, thank you, NB Light, for petitioning for access and publishing the magistrate’s response. Outrageous.

Mary C. Serreze

Mr. Hovan, the public leader of our nonprofit community health care system, has used his pulpit to publicly decry the possession of the very weapons he had stockpiled in his residence. These charges should be adjudicated publicly to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

Jim O’Rourke

Now why would we want to embarrass this defendant who wrote an op-ed letter to a Connecticut newspaper referencing the Sandy Hook shooting when he worked in Connecticut, talking about the same type of weapons that were found in his house (and) have no place in society? I guess it goes back to the old phrase: Do as I say, not as I do.

Richie Gomes Sr.

Note: Comments from social media are taken as is, with minimal editing for grammar, punctuation and spelling.

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