But it has earned its notoriety from the Hudson County Politics bulletin board, where posts often skewer local officials.
In January, the website caught the attention of the Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) when Olszewski posted several documents including police incident reports from an unnamed source. The source was calling attention to what he/she saw as Jersey City government going through with plans to outfit emergency responders with radios that may not function in high-rise buildings.
The source posted the documents in compliance with a policy set down by Olszewski that he will allow postings that make claims that state wrongdoing by an individual or larger body only if supported by documents.
The documents were posted for a week in late January, until Olszewski received a request on Jan. 27 from the JCPD that he take the documents off the website.
Olszewski complied, but that was only the beginning of his problems.Olszewski was subpoenaed on March 3 by the JCPD to appear at the police headquarters this past Thursday to answer questions regarding the posting of the documents and his source.
"I don't believe that I should reveal a source since I am acting as a journalist," Olszewski said last week. "No one has the right to tell me [I should], even the Jersey City Police Department."
Olszewski said that he would not be appearing at JCPD headquarters. Trouble with the police
Olszewski said he received the posting on the Hudson County Politics bulletin board in mid-January complaining about the Jersey City Police Department equipping their officers, specifically first responders, with new radios without going through a bidding process.
"The source was afraid that the radios being approved would not work in high-rise buildings, like what happened in the World Trade Center," said Olszewski. "It was being fast-tracked without any RFPs."
RFPs, or request for proposals, are the way cities solicit vendors. The reference to World Trade Center pertains to the controversy over defective radios that were used by the New York City Fire Department in the evacuation of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Olszewski asked the source to provide documents backing up the claim. The source provided six documents, including two letters from vendors who wanted to supply radios to the Jersey City Police Department and four incident reports taken between May and September, 2004.
Olszewski said last week that he didn't remember the content of the reports. Internal Affairs
After a week, the Jersey City Police Department was made aware of the posts and made a call to Olszewski.
"I got a call from someone in the Internal Affairs Department requesting that I take those postings off the website immediately," said Olszewski. "I asked that I see this request in writing."
Olszewski retained the services of an attorney.
Then he received a letter dated Jan. 27 from the city's Law Department requesting that the post be taken off the website. Olszewski said he once he received the letter, he complied immediately.
That wasn't the end of the story for Olszewski. Making an appearance
Olszewski received a letter dated March 3 from the city's Law Department requesting he appear at the JCPD headquarters in downtown Jersey City on Thursday.
The letter requested that he provide the documents that were posted on his website and name the source that placed the documents on the website, as part of an investigation.
"That's a violation of my rights and I shouldn't have to, even if it is the Jersey City Police Department," said Olszewski.
Olszewski said that he was summoned to the Jersey City Police Department headquarters on March 15 by an official in the Internal Affairs Division to listen to a tape recording made of an individual who claimed that Olszewski revealed his source in a conversation with that person.
When Olszewski heard the tape, he questioned several points on the tape and especially took issue with the description of the source.
"On the tape, this person gave a description of the source that provided the documents and the description was of some person that we spoke about in the past who I had not seen in 30 years," said Olszewski.
Olszewski was convinced after listening to the tape recording that the JCPD did not know the identity of the source. Other responses
Olszewski's attorney, Joseph Turula, confirmed last week that his client would not be appearing at the JCPD headquarters on Thursday. Turula said that he would be meeting with the Jersey City corporation counsel on this issue. Turula could not comment further on the matter.
The corporation counsel, William Matsikoudis, could not be reached for comment after several calls to his office.
Meanwhile, Captain Jon Tooke of the Jersey City Police Department was not able to comment on this matter because he was unaware of the situation with Olszewski. He also said that since Olszewski was contacted by the Internal Affairs Division, which typically investigates problems within the Police Department, that matter stays within their confines.
But Tooke said that under an executive order of the state of New Jersey, all police incident reports are private information since they feature the names of private citizens and their addresses. Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at email@example.com