CJ Griffin, Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in northjersey.com article, “Court won't release records of police director ousted for claims of racism and sexism.”
The New Jersey Appellate Division reversed the trial court’s order and exempted from full disclosure under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and under common law, the internal affairs records of James Cosgrove, an Elizabeth police director forced to resign over his use of racist and sexist slurs. Griffin represents Richard Rivera who filed suit to obtain the internal affairs record after the Union County Prosecutor’s Office denied his OPRA request.
CJ Griffin, Rivera's attorney, said Friday's ruling shows the state Legislature needs to "act fast and catch up" by making internal affairs records public, which they are in more than a dozen states. Griffith has represented the USA Today Network New Jersey in public records lawsuits.
“Without access to the actual reports in this case, we have no way of knowing how long Cosgrove’s deplorable behavior went on and whether there are others in the city government or police department that knew about his behavior and did nothing,” Griffin said. “We need transparency so there can be full accountability."
Griffin has intervened in a case before the appellate court regarding the internal affairs file of Philip Seidle, a Neptune police officer who murdered his ex-wife in 2015. Gannett, which owns the USA Today Network New Jersey, is suing to get access to those records. Neptune Township and state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal are fighting to keep the file private.
Please click here for an online version of the northjersey.com article regarding the case involving James Cosgrove.
Please click here for an online version of the nj.com article regarding the case involving James Cosgrove, in which CJ Griffin was also quoted.
Please click here for an online version of the Law360 article regarding the case involving James Cosgrove, in which CJ Griffin was also quoted.
Please click here for an online version of the northjersey.com article regarding Philip Seidle, in which Griffin was also quoted.