Monday, September 5, 2016

Judge rules in Cumberland County Open Public Records Act (OPRA) case.

Update:  Commercial Township signed a settlement agreement requiring the Township to pay $8,000 to the Plaintiff's attorney.
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On Friday, September 1, 2016, Cumberland County Superior Court Assignment Judge Georgia Curio ordered Commercial Township to disclose minutes of Township Committee meetings at which the circumstances surrounding the former mayor's abrupt resignation were discussed.  Curio also ordered disclosure of a Memorandum of Understanding the Township entered into with the former mayor regarding his resignation. 

The case centered on former Mayor Judson Moore's abrupt resignation which he originally attributed to having been "too busy with life."  Moore had resigned on March 12, 2016 when four Township employees' harassment grievances against him were under investigation.  Judge Curio ruled that the harassment grievances--which she said did not allege sexual harassment--and the notes of interviews between Moore's alleged victims and Township officials were exempt from disclosure.

Background on and documents filed in the case, Libertarians For Transparent Government v. Commercial Township, et al, Docket No. CUM-L-402-16, are available in a June 9, 2016 NJ Open Government Notes article.

Judge Curio also ordered that Commercial Township must pay the Libertarian organization's costs of court and attorney fees.  She ruled that the Memorandum of Understanding and the meeting minutes may be redacted to shield the harassment complainants' identities. 

The meeting minutes, Memorandum of Understanding and any other records the Township discloses will be uploaded to this blog as soon as they are received.

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