New Jersey’s public records fights prove costly

New Jersey taxpayers are on the hook for more than $1 million for the state’s failed attempts to keep records secret over the last four years, according to data obtained by The Associated Press.

The information, obtained through the state’s Open Public Records Act, shows that the state paid out $1,076,013 in taxpayer money reimbursing plaintiffs’ lawyers fees in 54 cases from January 2012 through March 4.

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Fighting open records cost New Jersey $154K in taxpayer money last year

New Jersey taxpayers last year were on the hook for nearly $154,000 to settle court cases in which Gov. Chris Christie's administration tried to stop records from being disclosed to the public.
 
Last year's payouts included instances in which the administration attempted to shield records on how Christie, whose presidential campaign ended Feb. 10, attempted to promote himself to a national audience, as well as costs related to his frequent out-of-state travel.
 

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Court nixes attempt to obtain records on Christie’s travel

A New Jersey appeals court ruled in favor of Gov. Chris Christie's office Thursday in a dispute over a reporter's request for the governor's out-of-state travel expense records.

The three-judge panel held reporter Mark Lagerkvist's request exceeded the limits of New Jersey's Open Public Records Act.

Last year, Lagerkvist requested records of Christie's travel to third-party-funded events, including who paid for his travel. The records custodian said it was not specific enough and denied the request.

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New York Press Club blasts Gov. Christie’s blacklist tactic

The New York Press Club is publicly criticizing Gov. Chris Christie and his staff for blacklisting New Jersey Watchdog. The journalists’ organization “expresses its outrage over the Christie administration’s apparent ‘blacklisting’ of New Jersey Watchdog, in an effort to prevent the news outlet from receiving press advisories and official announcements from the governor’s office,” Press Club President Larry Seary said.

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