Friday, February 18, 2011

NJ App Div slams Rutgers secrecy; a lesson for California's CIRM?

The Newark Star-Ledger/ reported:

In a decision that puts public entities on greater notice about what information they must provide at public meetings, the three-member [appellate] panel said Rutgers ran "afoul" of the state’s Open Public Meetings Act, dubbed the "Sunshine Law" because of the light it is supposed to shine on governmental bodies.

The court also criticized the board’s practice of "sequencing" — holding long closed-door sessions between public sessions — saying it "subverts the very purposes the ‘Sunshine Law’ was designed to achieve."

The factual issue concerned Rutgers University’s $102 million stadium expansion. The appellate division said discussions about new policies for the athletic department should have been held in public.

The article had a quote:

Bruce Rosen, a Florham Park-based media attorney, said the decision is a clear victory for the public.
"The message here is make sure what’s public is public and what’s private is private," he said. "Don’t try to mix the two. These boards have to be sensitive to the public."

California's CIRM could learn a lot from New Jersey's strong stand.


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