In a September 3, 2014 letter, Perth Amboy (Middlesex County) City Attorney Mark J. Blunda, provided a redacted copy of a two-page police report regarding an alleged sexual assault by one Perth Amboy school teacher against another. The letter and the report, on-line here, bring my lawsuit, which I blogged about here, to an end.
Blunda’s letter, written to Middlesex County Assignment Judge Travis L. Francis and copied to my lawyer, Walter M. Luers of Clinton, contains a fair amount of sanctimony. In his letter, Blunda intoned:
While some may consider re-publication of salacious details of a sexual assault to be an act of intentional infliction of emotional distress upon the victim, since the events happened more than four years ago and the criminal and civil matters have been completed, the municipality’s grant of access to the record will not interfere with the judicial or criminal process. Any potential liability for further publication, or the chilling effect that it may place on future victims, falls on the Plaintiffs shoulders.
So, according to Blunda, I am intentionally inflicting “emotional distress” upon the alleged victim by seeking police reports that would disclose what, if anything, the Perth Amboy Police Department did about this alleged sexual assault. Never mind that the alleged victim, who received a $199,000 secret settlement from the Perth Amboy Board of Education, herself put on public display in her lawsuit the same “salacious details” that Blunda now feigns an interest in protecting.
In sum, and as I reported in my earlier blog entry, Perth Amboy could have avoided this entire lawsuit had it been more candid about which records the City had on file regarding this incident. It was only after my OPRA lawsuit was filed that the City disclosed that it only possessed one initial police report and that the matter was thereafter transferred to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.