CJ Griffin Quoted in Article on State Refusing to Release Records Regarding the COVID-19 Crisis
CJ Griffin, Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in NorthJersey.com article, “Want to know what NJ is doing to fight coronavirus? State refuses to release records.” The article discusses the effect of the amendment to the State’s OPRA law to delay an agency’s deadline to respond to requests, and over-reliance on a public health emergency law to deny requests for records related to the coronavirus crisis.
“Although in the first couple of years of Governor Murphy’s tenure it felt as if there was a conscious effort to be more transparent, it now feels reminiscent of the Christie era where there is a hostility toward transparency and a complete lockdown of information that reporters need to keep the public informed,” said CJ Griffin, a partner at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, P.C., and who represents The Record, which is part of the USA TODAY NETWORK.
"This is very troublesome and a crisis unto itself," said Griffin. "We know from experience that secrecy inevitably leads to corruption, misconduct, waste and abuse. OPRA was enacted to permit the public to keep a watchful eye on government, but right now it can’t perform that function in many municipalities across this state."
Please click here for an online version of the article.