CJ Griffin Quoted in Law360 on NJ Supreme Court Case Regarding Access to Law Enforcement Internal Affairs Records
CJ Griffin, partner and director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in the Law360 article “NJ AG Calls For Path To Access Internal Affairs Records.” The article discusses recent arguments before the New Jersey Supreme Court in the case of Rivera v. Union County Prosecutor’s Office, in which Griffin represents the plaintiff seeking internal affairs record of an Elizabeth police director forced to resign over his use of racist and sexist slurs. While the Appellate Division ruled that disclosure of the records was not permitted under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) or common law, the Supreme Court granted Griffin’s petition for certification to review that decision. The article notes that the New Jersey Attorney General’s office argued in the January 4 oral argument that such records should be available under common law, with redactions, and further asked the Supreme Court for guidance, proposing a number of factors to consider in determining whether to release internal affairs records under common law. The article includes quotes taken from Griffin in the January 4 arguments before the Supreme Court:
During Tuesday's hearing, Rivera's attorney, CJ Griffin of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden PC, argued that redacted versions of the materials were available under OPRA and the common law. She asked the court to consider adopting an expanded version of the common law access framework proposed by the attorney general's office.
Rivera, who is now police director in another municipality, "now believes more than ever that transparency benefits not just the public but also the police," according to Griffin.
"When police keep their misconduct investigations a secret, it makes it much harder for good cops to do their jobs," Griffin said.
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