Wronko v. City of Newark, Docket No. ESX-L-1238-18
Pashman Stein Walder Hayden represented a records requestor who sought access to the proposal that Newark had submitted to Amazon for its second headquarters (commonly known as “HQ2”). Newark had denied numerous OPRA requests that were submitted by members of the public and various publications, even though numerous other finalist cities had released their HQ2 bids.
Initially, Newark opposed the plaintiff’s lawsuit and argued that it would be placed at a competitive disadvantage if it were to release the proposal to the public. It also argued that it was subject to a nondisclosure agreement and could not release the proposal even if it wanted to do so. We vigorously fought the lawsuit and, after significant research, demonstrated to the court that Newark had disclosed portions of the proposal to a small group of reporters and even took those reporters on a site visit of the proposed HQ2 site locations, something which Newark asserted was strictly confidential.
After we filed our reply brief with all this information, Newark backed down and agreed to settle the case and release its 200-page proposal with a minimal redaction of six pages of financial information.
Pashman Stein Walder Hayden collected a legal fee for this case.