Update: 10/31/17: After discovering that the invoice that the Board produced on August 23rd was not the original invoice but one that was revised on July 21, 2017, we insisted upon receiving the original invoice that was issued on June 3, 2017. The Board has refused to provide the original invoice. Accordingly, the court has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, January 9, 2018 to address the matter.
Update 08/23/17: After this suit was filed, the Wall school board released the requested invoices. They are on-line here.
On August 3, 2017, Libertarians for Transparent Government (LFTG) filed a lawsuit against the Wall Township Board of Education challenging its refusal to disclose an invoice from Jostens, the high school’s yearbook vendor.
On June 19, 2017, LFTG requested a copy of Jostens’ invoice regarding its production of the 2017 high school yearbook. The request was made because one of the student’s photographs in the 2017 yearbook was altered so as to remove references to Donald Trump. As a result, some of the yearbooks have been reprinted at a cost of $10,000. The school board has claimed that no public funds were used for the reprint. In response to LFTG’s records request, the school board confirmed that an invoice existed but denied access claiming that the invoice was protected by the deliberative process privilege. In his June 19, 2017 denial, Board Secretary Brian J. Smyth stated that “the invoice has not been reviewed and approved for payment [thus it] is exempt while the district deliberates as part of the review.”
The lawsuit is captioned Libertarians for Transparent Government (LFTG) v. Wall Township Board of Education and Brian J. Smyth, Docket No. MON-L-2848-17 and LFTG is being represented by Walter M. Luers of Clinton.