New Jersey’s inscrutable open-records umpire


TRENTON — William Scott Jr. was concerned about a housing development being built near his Montclair home by a politically connected nonprofit. He filed an open records request to try to figure out how the nonprofit secured a big government construction grant from Essex County, even though it applied past the deadline.

His request was rejected by the county. So he appealed to the New Jersey Government Records Council (GRC), which hears such cases. Twenty-one months later, he watched as the GRC voted on his case in a meeting room in Trenton.