Monday, September 20, 2010

County Loses Another Lawsuit

As The County Watchers have reported, another lawsuit arising out of an OPRA issue was won. Good for them. Apparently, the County is going to appeal. Another waste of taxpayer dollars.

In the Judge's decision, she writes: "The public purpose of plaintiff's organization is a good one and its private purpose of seeking to solicit membership is legitimate." Indeed. See Judge's full Opinion here

Reading the Opinion and background, a couple of things come to mind.

Evidently, the seniors receive their own newsletter from the County. See here for one such a newsletter. Last week, Union County residents received a 24-page newsletter, Union County Directions, of which almost 4 and a half pages were devoted to the Musicfest. An entire Q&A puff piece page was devoted to Sheriff Froehlich, who is up for re-election. Why not just incorporate the senior news into the newsletter we all got last week?

The County Watchers, as the prevailing party, seeks the payment of attorney fees. The Judge has directed that the plaintiff's attorney submit a Certification of Services, including a copy of the billing records. In Linden, our legal department keeps no billing records and has, in fact, argued against keeping time sheets. It was reported last month that Linden was the prevailing party in a lawsuit brought by Shoprite. Are Linden taxpayers entitled to recoup legal fees in that lawsuit? If so, how could that be accomplished without billing records?

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