NORTH BERGEN -- According to NJ.com, a Hudson County Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a North Bergen-based attorney who often represents political opponents of Mayor Nicholas Sacco. The attorney, Mario Blanch, wanted to obtain an estimated $42,000 in public documents from the township and was having trouble receiving them.
Blanch filed the suit on behalf of a client who filed 51 Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests with the township of North Bergen for 175 documents. The OPRA requests were submitted on Jan. 24 by Luis Gutierrez, a member of the North Bergen Concerned Citizens group. Gutierrez wanted to obtain 2011 and 2012 budgets, invoices, bills, contracts, receipts and vouchers made to engineers, accountants, attorneys and public employees for the North Bergen Housing Authority, the Board of Education, and the township.
NJ.com said the lawsuit was dismissed “for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,” ruled Judge Maureen Mantineo.
Township spokesperson Phil Swibinski said, “We are gratified that the court recognized our commitment and dismissed this lawsuit.”
Blanch’s response to the dismissal was optimistic. He said, “The judge basically ruled that I’m entitled to the records, but the format of my client’s request was in an overly broad manner for North Bergen to answer in that format. If I narrow to down, North Bergen would have to respond.”