The firing of NJ State Trooper Nicole Cusanelli was reported in the media on February 22, 2017–the same date that the Appellate Division affirmed her firing.  But, an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request disclosed the July 1, 2015, 30-page decision by State Police Superintendent Joseph R. Fuentes that provides more detail and context regarding the May 3, 2009 incident that gave rise to Cusanelli’s termination.  Cusanelli was convicted of disorderly conduct but acquitted of driving under the influence and resisting arrest.  She ultimately was fined $300 for the disorderly conduct charge.

More important than the content of the decision is the fact that such decisions are disclosable under OPRA.  Police internal affairs matters are typically considered exempt from disclosure. 

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