Hoboken accused of violating “OPRA” (New Jersey Open Public Records Act) in “William D. Campbell v. City of Hoboken”

Hoboken accused of violating “OPRA” (New Jersey Open Public Records Act) in “William D. Campbell v. City of Hoboken”  

The recent layoff of Hoboken’s Assistant Public Information Officer has added yet another lawsuit to the growing and costly list of Hoboken legal challenges.

The Law Office of C. Elston &Associates LLC, Wall, New Jersey filed a Notice of Appeal with the New Jersey Civil Service Commission on behalf of WILLIAM D. CAMPBELL ("Appellant “ or “Campbell”) for his recent layoff from the permanent position of assistant Public Information Officer in the Department of Administration for the City of Hoboken.


Appellant charges that Hoboken’s legal team has refused to produce documents that are paramount to appellant’s appeal.      

Please note that appellant respectfully reserves his right “to supplement the record due to the City's violation of the Open Public Records Act, N. J. S . A. 47: lA-l et seq., by failing to produce documents requested, which are paramount to this appeal.  (Exhibit A) The City's refusal to provide the documentation may necessitate further OPRA requests and/or an action in Superior Court to compel production.”


Exhibit A OPRA Request pdf

Name: Mitesh M. Patel, Esq.
Dated: September 29,2010
Via Facsimile: (201) 420-2085

Information Requested:

Other [specify]:

(1) The hiring dates, hiring titles, and hiring salaries of city employees Juan Melli, Dan Bryan, and Arch Listan. The Current base salaries of all three employees, segregating any supplemental income received by them and dates of same. 

(2) "Department of Administration Employee Action Forms" from January 2010 to July 2010 regarding any salary increases and approvals for salary increases.

 (3) Any and all documentation regarding City Employees that are scheduled to retire or have submitted notification of retirement.

 (4) Any salary ordinances, which had 1st or 2nd readings in July 2010. Also, include any salary ordinance plans.

 (5) City of Hoboken Job Descriptions for:

    (1) Confidential Aide to the Mayor;

    (2) Communications Manager; and (3) Public Information Officer. 

Thank you for your courtesy and anticipated cooperation in providing the above requested information.

Very truly yours,
Mitesh M. Patel, Esq.


Hoboken has a checkered past when it comes to OPRA request compliance.   The past practices of ignoring and/or refusing to provide legal disclosure has resulted in unwarranted increased legal costs.   At the end of the day, it has always been the taxpayers who picked-up the tab for the flawed legal tactic.


On September 14, 2010, Mayor Dawn Zimmer appointed attorney Mark Tabakin to the post of interim Corporate Counsel.  On October 6, 2010, the Hoboken City Council appointed Mark Tabakin to be the city's new Corporation Counsel.

The record shows that appellant's Counsel submitted the OPRA request on September 29, 2010.  As of October 12, 2010, the City of Hoboken has failed to comply.

All eyes will be forever on lawyer Tabakin with respect to OPRA compliance, transparency issues, and the City's apparent failure to comply with NJ State Law. 


Resource Box

Exhibit A OPRA Request / Fax Delivery Confirmation pdf

William D. Campbell v. City of Hoboken Layoff Brief & Exhibits pdf

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