Back in the late 1990’s, after the downfall of Somerset County Prosecutor Nicholas L. Bissell, Somerset County established a $1 million dollar fund to defend the county from lawsuits filed by anyone who claimed to have been harmed by Bissell’s actions.

On January 30, 2014, I submitted an Open Public Records Act request for the disposition of this account. After a few extensions were negotiated, County Council William T. Cooper, III informed me that although he cannot find “any specific records pertaining to this account, the account had been cancelled and that the account balance of approximately $1.6 million had been “released back to general revenue” in 2008 and 2010. 

My OPRA request and Mr. Cooper’s response are on-line here.

Mr. Cooper indicated that there might be further records, but if I wanted the County to search for those records he would have to “utilize the services of the Auditing firm Supplee, Clooney & Associates.”  This, according to Cooper would “obviously involve an expense” which would be passed onto me.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]