CJ Griffin Quoted in Article About Governor's Expense Accounts
CJ Griffin, Partner and Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C., was quoted in a NJ.com article titled, “Taxpayers Spent $75K to Send Texts to Gov. Murphy. How’s it Going?” The article discusses how Phil Murphy, the first governor in the nation to use direct text messages, has received more than 25,000 messages since the service’s launch on Aug. 24. He also intermittently sends mass messages with announcements to subscribers.
Murphy’s office said the state has received several Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests for the messages. It denied one filed by NJ Advance Media, saying it said it can’t produce the messages without a “substantial disruption” to agency operations.
CJ Griffin says it’s “problematic that an agency would use a third-party service to send or receive records, but then claim that it is too cumbersome to produce those records to the public. And with the increasing use of technology platforms, I really fear this could become a common way to evade transparency.”
Griffin cited a 2001 executive order from then-Gov. Jim McGreevey that exempted some records from public view if they would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Griffin called the executive order very fact-specific, saying “it might be plausible to argue that certain specific information could be exempt or that the names of individuals should be redacted.”
To read the full article, click here.