SantaCon hires civil rights lawyer to fight bar-crawl Scrooges

NEW YORK -- New York City's annual bar crawl featuring thousands of red suits and red faces is set for Saturday.

But with opposition for SantaCon mounting, WCBS reports the secretive organizers have hired a high-powered lawyer.

But does the first amendment protect the merry "Ho, ho, hos?"

Civil rights attorney Norman Siegel says yes.

However, SantaCon has been criticized by some for being too rowdy for several years.

"There have been some negative activities in the past, the organizers tell me they don't condone that, I don't condone that," Siegel said.

Last year, an incident made the news involving Santas throwing punches at each other at Third Avenue between 16th and 17th streets.

In November, when local leaders in Bushwick got wind that the Santas wanted to drop in there, they said no way.

But wherever they do pop up on Saturday, Siegel said he'll be there observing.

"Not wearing a Santa outfit, although they did offer me one," he said.

Seigel also said he'll work with the city to get permits for next year.

The event's organizers said in a statement they've raised tens of thousands for good causes over the year, saying "SantaCon's charity component is not just white bearded lip service."