At the May 10, 2011 Runnemede (Camden County) Board of Education executive session, Board Attorney Philip E. Stern, Esq. said that he would contact me and another citizen "requesting that [we] cease and desist [filing OPRA requests] under possible charges of harassment." The minutes of the closed meeting, which I learned about just today, were available on the Board's site as well as here.
According to the minutes, I and two other citizens were filing Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests "in an effort to find some information to support [a] suspicion . . . that some fraud or unethical events occurred." Board attorney Phillip Stern opined that "the volume and nature [of the OPRA requests] has been expanding and interferes with the ability to administer the district."
I confess that I am guilty as charged. I filed two OPRA requests with the Board--on April 7, 2011 and May 7, 2011--in an attempt to find out why the Board entered into a settlement agreement with its former business administrator and gave her a seven-month paid leave of absence at her annual salary of $99,465. The Board's responses to my two OPRA requests resulted in my June 3, 2011 lawsuit against the Board: That lawsuit is on-line here.
For unknown reasons, Stern never followed through on his promise to send me a "cease and desist" letter.
Later, an "Important Notice" was posted on the Runnemede Board of Education website. The notice stated that they "inadvertently published on its website" this unredacted version of its May 10, 2011 executive session minutes.
The minutes as originally published are available on-line here.
ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011, AT APPROXIMATELY 11:00 A.M., THE RUNNEMEDE BOROUGH BOARD OF EDUCATION (“BOARD”) INADVERTENTLY PUBLISHED ON ITS WEBSITE UNREDACTED BOARD EXECUTIVE SESSION MINUTES FROM ITS MEETING OF MAY 10, 2011. THE PUBLICATION OF THE MAY 10, 2011, MINUTES ON THE BOARD WEBSITE WAS A MISTAKE. IN RESPONSE, AS SOON AS THE BOARD BECAME AWARE OF THIS INADVERTENT ERROR, THE EXECUTIVE SESSION MINUTES OF MAY 10, 2011 WERE TAKEN OFF THE BOARD WEBSITE. THE BOARD WISHES THE PUBLIC TO KNOW THE FOLLOWING:
1. AT NO TIME DID THE BOARD WAIVE THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE WHEN IT INADVERTENTLY PUBLISHED THE MINUTES MENTIONED ABOVE.
2. TO THE EXTENT THAT THE IDENTITY OF INDIVIDUALS OR ENTITIES WERE INAPPROPRIATELY PUBLISHED BY THE POSTING OF THE MINUTES, THE BOARD APOLOGIZES AND EMPHASIZES THAT IT HAD NO INTENTION OF RELEASING THE IDENTITIES OF SUCH INDIVIDUALS OR ENTITES [sic].
3. THE BOARD HAS TAKEN ALL NECESSARY ACTION TO ENSURE THAT THIS INADVERTENCE DOES NOT OCCUR AGAIN.