CJ Griffin Quoted in NorthJersey.com Article

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NorthJersey.com
9.26.23

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 NorthJersey.com article titled, “Montclair Clerk Missed OPRA Deadlines, Documents Show.” The article discusses how a Montclair citizen overheard an important discussion regarding OPRA Requests between staff from the Clerk’s Office and Municipal Clerk Angelese Bermúdez Nieves in an impromptu meeting.

While Nieves, the public records custodian for Montclair, did not explicitly tell her staff to outright ignore or deny requests for public records, Vanderer said, “It sounded as if she was offering a tutorial on ways to bottleneck the process. The gist of it was to find every possible way to slow down the granting of these requests.”

This sounds like willful violations of the statute,” said CJ Griffin, who acknowledged that the practice of delegating requests to municipal departments is common in New Jersey.

They’re not treating OPRA’s seven-day deadline with any respect at all. They’re acting like it’s just optional and they can reply when they want to. It’s not an excuse that you just didn’t check your email for a couple weeks,” said Griffin. “To ignore it is unacceptable.”

To read the full article, click here.

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