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NJ Open Government Notes

NJ Attorney General’s office discloses name of Trooper forced to resign for “engaging in racially offensive behavior.”

On February 17, 2017, my non-profit, Libertarians for Transparent Government (LFTG), sued the New Jersey Division of State Police seeking disclosure of the name of a Trooper who, according to the Division’s annual report, “was required to . . . separate from employment . . . [for] having questionable associations, engaging in racially offensive behavior […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Brick school board sued for discriminating against grounds worker because of his alcoholism.

In his March 30, 2020 lawsuit, a grounds worker formerly employed by the Brick Township (Ocean County, NJ) Board of Education sued the school board and its head of Human Resources for firing him after he allegedly failed a February 19, 2019 alcohol breath test. In his lawsuit, Brian Flynn stated that he was summoned […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

New Jersey Supreme Court agrees to decide whether the identity of trooper who left his or her position for “questionable associations” and “racially offensive behavior” can be withheld from the public.

Each year, the Division of State Police (NJSP) issues a public report that summarizes disciplinary cases against troopers processed through its internal affairs system.  Page 13 of the 2015 report noted that an unnamed trooper was “separate[d] from employment” for “having questionable associations, engaging in racially offensive behavior and publicly discussing police patrol procedures.”  After […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Court orders Warren County municipality to disclose dashcam video of police chief’s motor vehicle stop.

Update: The Township released the video shortly after this blog post was published.  The video is on-line here.————————————On October 1, 2019, New Jersey Superior Court Assignment Judge Yolanda Ciccone issued a court order compelling Independence Township (Warren County) to disclose “the [police] dashcam audio and video recordings of” a motor vehicle stop of Keith P. […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Appellate Division rules today on OPRA request for fire commissioners’ e-mails.

The takeaways from today’s two-judge Appellate Division panel’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA) opinion in Jeff Carter v. Franklin Fire District No. 1 are: 1.  If you’re an OPRA requestor who wants e-mails in their native format, you need to specifically request them in their native or original format.  Don’t conflate the terms “medium” and […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Facing lawsuit, Rutgers coughs up its separation agreement with former Athletic Director.

In his August 2, 2018 article, “Why did Rutgers pay fired AD Julie Hermann $500K more than she was owed?” Star-Ledger reporter Keith Sargeant wrote about Rutgers’ refusal to provide him with the university’s separation agreement with former Athletic Director Julie Hermann.  After reading the article, I had my non-profit submit an Open Public Records […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

OPRA suit seeks disclosure of court filings that resulted in reversal of former Hammonton school guidance supervisor’s lewdness conviction.

If a person submits an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request to a county prosecutor for records that the prosecutor filed in court, it is generally accepted that those records must be disclosed provided that the court case is not sealed.  Yet, on November 5, 2018 the non-profit I serve as executive director filed suit […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Lawsuit seeks ruling that Open Public Meetings Act violation implicates attorney fee-shifting provision of Civil Rights Act.

On Wednesday, January 9, 2019, Mercer County Assignment Judge Mary C. Jacobson will hear John Paff v. Trenton Board of Education, Docket No. MER-L-2241-18.  At issue is whether the Board’s vote to give Superintendent Fred McDowell a $25,000 bonus should be voided out because the vote was taken after the Board’s September 24, 2018 meeting […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

OPRA lawsuit seeks Cumberland County’s settlement agreement with former jail guard who was internally charged with bringing contraband into jail for two female inmates with whom he allegedly had sex.

Update:  In a November 2, 2018 consent order, Judge Telsey ruled that the non-profit that I serve as executive director–Libertarians for Transparent Government–is the prevailing party and entitled to court costs and attorney fees.  He redacted the County’s settlement agreement with Tyrone Ellis but sealed the redacted agreement until he or the Appellate Division orders […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Does OPRA require a Township to inform the public if a cop has been paid for over three years without having to report to work?

On Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 2 p.m., Burlington County Superior Court Assignment Judge Ronald E. Bookbinder will hear argument in Libertarians for Transparent Government v. Township of Eastampton, Docket No. BUR-L-1158-18.  At issue is whether Eastampton Township must publicly disclose whether one of its police officers has been on paid suspension for over three […]