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Monday, March 24, 2014

Christie Internal Investigation Report Suggests They're Hiding Dossiers on Mayors

As mentioned last week, I represent a requestor of government records who filed a lawsuit filed last week seeking the production from Governor Christie's office of certain "dossiers" on as much as -- or more than -- 100 mayors across New Jersey.

This morning (Monday, March 24, 2014), Page One of the New York Times has a story on how the Office of the Governor's internal investigation has found no evidence tying the Governor personally to the "Bridgegate" events. I urge you to read the article. The article further makes it seem as if the report containing the internal investigation findings will be released soon.

Curious, though, how the internal investigation can get to all sorts of documents and will apparently release other documents, yet a benign Open Public Records Act request gets stonewalled.

Here is my response in Serringer v. Office of the Governor, Docket MER-L-00563-14, communicated to the State Superior Court, Mercer County.  Note the bold text which is distinguished for emphasis.

Your Honor:
I represent Plaintiff Alexis Serringer in this action under the Open Public Records Act.  This letter is submitted due to exigent circumstances, namely, revelations in a New York Times Page One article (attached) entitled, “Inquiry Is Said To Clear Christie, but That’s His Lawyers’ Verdict.”  The article details the “extensive review” and scope of access of the outside lawyers retained by and given unparalled access to records and personnel of the Office of the Governor (Defendant in this OPRA action). The article cites lead lawyer Randy Mastro citing the “level of cooperation” and “volume of records reviewed” from Defendant. 
 These facts support the inferences that the Office of the Governor had unprecedented resources with which to respond to Plaintiff’s OPRA request for an unmistakably government record. Such ability to respond strongly indicates that The Office of the Governor was far from unable to respond. Rather, it indicates the Office of the Governor knowingly and willingly elected to neither produce dossiers made and kept by the Office nor to cite an exemption or justification under OPRA.  Accordingly, this lawsuit must be allowed to proceed and the previously submitted Order to Show Cause must be issued.                                                                                    
                     Eric Dixon

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