Mason loses a case, continues fighting
A press release from Councilwoman Beth Mason’s camp today:
Mason remains committed to open government
Councilwoman Beth Mason issued the following statement regarding today’s New Jersey Supreme Court decision and her request for government records.
“Despite the court’s decision today, I stand firmly with those members of the press – the reporters, the editorial writers and the columnists – who have struggled to remove the veil of secrecy that exists over government and are fighting to unmask the state’s rampant corruption.”
“I remain committed to fighting for the rights of the press and the public to access government records and determine how their government is operating and how public officials are spending taxpayer money,” said Mason.
The case centered on Mason’s request for public documents from the City of Hoboken, including the general ledger of the city – which is nothing more than the city’s checkbook that details expenditures. The city refuses do give the ledger to mason, claiming they were “fixing it.” Mason was supported in the case by the New Jersey Press Association, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Libertarian Party.
“The city’s general ledger doesn’t belong to the city officials, it belongs to the people.” said Mason.
Mason’s attorney, Jeffrey Kantowitz, said the court simply got it wrong. “I respect the New Jersey Supreme Court, but in this case I think they erred and failed to see the harm the decision will do to open government and governmental accountability.”
Kantowitz added that: “Unfortunately, the court has given public officials, who want to conceal the truth from citizens, a blueprint for how to do it.”