CJ Griffin Quoted in New Jersey Law Journal on Court’s Recent Ruling to dismiss a complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union
CJ Griffin, Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in a New Jersey Law Journal article, “NJ Appeals Court Sides With County Prosecutors Association Over ACLU Records Request.” The article discusses whether CPANJ violated both the Open Public Records Act and the common-law right of access by denying the records request in its entirety.
“This isn’t an ordinary nonprofit organization that is purely private—it is controlled government employees and staffed and funded with taxpayer resources,” said CJ Griffin, a partner at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden who argued the cause for amicus curiae Libertarians for Transparent Government. “Yet, this decision allows it to escape all transparency.
“We’re disappointed in the decision, which fails to even mention that CPANJ’s budget comes from taxpayer money and the prosecutors use the resources of their offices to conduct CPANJ’s business,” Griffin said. “In fact, all through the trial court proceedings and right up until the Appellate Division oral argument, CPANJ was using government attorneys to defend itself and the filing fee for motion to dismiss that the trial court granted was paid for by the government.”
“I worry about the implications of this decision and how other public officials may create nonprofit organizations to evade OPRA, all while using public money and their government staff to run the organization,” Griffin said. “It doesn’t take much of an imagination to see the possibilities for corruption to occur.”
To view the article, click here