CJ Griffin Quoted in Article Regarding Pending Lawsuits Against Newark Board of Education
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 TAPInto Newark article titled “Two Public Records Suits Proceed Against Newark Schools.” The article discusses how two public records lawsuits filed against Newark’s Board of Education will proceed with a hearing in the first scheduled for later this month. CJ Griffin represents Skyway Publishing, the publisher of TAPInto Newark, who sued the Newark BOE for having redactions lifted from a settlement agreement.
Skyway Publishing’s suit states that under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act, contracts are “expressly public records,” and that “a multimillion-dollar redevelopment contract must be placed for public bidding.”
“It appears that NBOE has sidestepped that basic legal requirement by including the redevelopment deal as part of a litigation settlement agreement, which are also subject to OPRA,” Griffin states. “The public is simply not allowed to be kept in the dark about redevelopment deals, public contracts, or settlements of lawsuits.”
Griffin says, however, that not only does the district fail to explain how disclosure of the information would give other parties in the lawsuit a leg up, but the law requires the full public record to be revealed.
“NBOE clearly thinks it should be entitled to enter into secret redevelopment deals and secret settlement agreements, but OPRA provides otherwise. Both litigation settlement agreements and contracts are public records,” says Griffin.
To read the full article, click here.