NJ Open Government Notes

Supreme Court holds that OPRA requires disclosure of settlement agreement

On January 25, 2010, the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld a 2009 Appellate Division ruling that required Monmouth County to disclose a settlement agreement arising out of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a county employee.

The Court ruled: “A governmental entity cannot enter into a voluntary agreement at the end of a public lawsuit to keep a settlement confidential, and then claim a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ in the amount of that settlement.” The decision is on-line here.

I was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and was ably represented by Walter M. Luers, Esq. of Oxford.

By John Paff

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project