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Municipal Lawyer’s Flawed Bill Records Held To Explain ‘Secret’ Town Meetings

From  the Law Journal

Meetings with town leaders that turned up on a municipal lawyer’s billing records were not secret sessions in violation of the Open Public Meetings Act, a Camden County judge has held.

In a decision made public Monday, Superior Court Judge Louis Meloni found that what appeared to be quorumed meetings not in compliance with OPMA were the result of the lawyer’s outdated computer program, which did not accurately reflect the time billed.

Meloni found Haddon solicitor Richard Klineburger III’s explanation of the billing system reasonable. “[He] seemed sure of his recollection, I did not find him evasive nor was there any unwillingness or reluctance to answer the questions posed,” Meloni said in Cassel v. Twp. of Haddon , L-1426-09.

Though the lawyer’s chats with town officials did not flout OPMA, Meloni held the town did violate the law by advertising a public meeting in 2007 for 7 p.m. but starting it 40 minutes earlier.

He also ruled that the Open Public Records Act did not allow Haddon to charge $5 for a CD with an audio recording of a public meeting, rather than the actual cost of 88 cents.

The plaintiff, Haddon resident Thomas Cassel, came across the references to Klineburger’s meetings with commissioners in billing records he obtained through an OPRA request.

The invoices, covering January through June 2008, contained five entries reflecting meetings attended by Klineburger, Mayor Randall Teague and Commissioner Paul Dougherty.

As the town has three commissioners, including the mayor, only two are needed for a quorum. And if they discuss municipal business, it becomes a public meeting subject to OPMA, which requires prior public notice and official minutes.

So reasoned Cassel when he filed an OPRA request on Feb. 6, asking for notices, agendas, minutes and related papers for the five dates, as well as resolutions that might have authorized a closed meeting or executive session.

Haddon Clerk Denise Adams sought advice from Klineburger on how to respond. His Feb. 18 letter in reply said, “during said consultative meetings, I would meet with either one or both of the [commissioners] with regard to potential, pending or ongoing litigation.”

No official documents of those “consultative” meetings were created, he wrote, only his “own personal notes” that were not turned over to the town as public records. Those notes were prepared in anticipation of litigation and are considered privileged work product under OPRA, which in any event does not deem advisory, consultative or deliberative material to be a public record, wrote Klineburger.

Cassel relied on that letter and the invoices when he sued.

During a hearing on July 2, Klineburger blamed the software.

He explained he had recently become solicitor and, to get up to speed, was spending a lot of time at the municipal building reviewing thousands of documents turned over by his predecessor, Timothy Higgins. During that process, he had brief conversations with the mayor or a commissioner but never more than one at a time unless they were eating lunch or talking about the Phillies or other unofficial topics, he testified.

He was going over multiple matters in a single hour but the program would lump everything together as Haddon Township time, creating the impression of a quorum in talks on town matters, he claimed.

That was a viable explanation to Meloni, who also found sufficient Klineburger’s explanation that when he wrote to Adams, he thought he was dealing with an OPRA request for minutes and not with whether a public meeting occurred.

Klineburger, of Klineburger & Nussey in Haddonfield, says he cannot recall the name of the billing program that created the confusing invoices but it was installed 12 years ago, when the firm was still using a DOS version of Word Perfect.

He says he notified the town when the problem became apparent, before Cassel’s request, and the firm is now using Timeslips billing software.

“No one got overcharged, no one got ripped off, there were no secret meetings,” emphasizes Klineburger.

He declines comment on the other issues in the case — the public meeting held earlier than the notice said and the ordinance setting a $5 charge for CDs — because those public actions predated his appointment as solicitor.

Haddon’s lawyer in the case, Robert Baxter, of Wardell Craig Annin & Baxter in Haddonfield, did not return a call.

Cassel’s lawyer, Oxford solo Walter Luers, says, “we believe based on evidence that meetings took place and that minutes of the meetings should have been maintained.”

He calls the decision “very frustrating” because “at trial, [Klineburger] said when we said ‘meetings’ we didn’t mean meetings, we meant something else and the judge bought that.”

Luers is pleased with the other part of Meloni’s decision concerning the cost of CDs and the violation of OPMA by holding a meeting earlier than stated in the notice to the public.

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135 Responses

  1. The crickets are deafening.

  2. I won on 3 of the 4 issues. Obviously St. Eve cannot say that my case did not have merit based upon this final result.

    • I never said your case lacked merit. I could not say it lacked merit as I never saw your complaint but I look forward to reading it.

      You promised to post it and all other paperwork related to the case on the website NJFOG.org.

      I checked yesterday. Nothing had been posted.

  3. Excuse me?

    How many times have you, Mr. Cassel, stated you do not post anonymously? And now, “Anonymous”, has stated “I won 3 of 4 issues.”

    Well, that begs the question… Does Mr. Cassel post anonymously or not?

  4. I didn’t hide it was me when I posted “I” or “my case”. I wasn’t on the normal computer when I posted and I forgot to put my name in. I don’t post anonymously, at least intentionally.

  5. Wow. What a complete waste of time. And Chris Christie eats a lot of cheeseburgers. Anyone disagree with my childish post? Bring it on.

    • Why do Tom and “just the facts” Jen only post the Law Jornal article and not the actual report from the judge?

  6. First, I don’t have the report from the judge. Second, I posted not Tom. I think this gives the full results. What more do you think would be stated?

    • Why not post the judge’s report and let the readers draw their own conclusions? I would like to see what the judge said not what a reporter says the judge says. Tom has the report from the judge and I am sure he is the one that told you about the law journal article. My guess is you posted the law journal article because you thought the judge’s report was too favorable for the town. Full disclosure.

  7. Again, I do not have the judge’s report and have not seen the judge’s report so your guess is wrong. If Tom has it and wants to post it’s up to him. The Retrospect also reported the same thing.

  8. Here is a link to the NJ Open Government website where a copy of the opinion is located. You all make it like we have something to hide. I don’t work that way. I have nothing to hide.

    http://njopengovt.blogspot.com/2009/11/court-rules-on-opra-and-opma-case.html

    I won on 3 of the 4 issues. The one not mentioned in the summary on the blogs was the fact that the town had to completely redo its totally improper redaction of the closed minutes from the commissioner meetings for 2008. Klineburger, totally ignored the law by failing to provide the reasons for each redaction. The judge had ordered the town to do this in accordance with the law. During the course of the trial, we went back and forth until my attorney and I were satisfied that the town met the law. As a result of them being ordered to follow the law a significant amount of what they had redacted (or basically didn’t want me to know about) was made public. This only occurred as a result of my lawsuit. However, by the time the judge issued his order, this issue had been settled. Unfortunately, Klineburger, didn’t understand the law which was the reason the judge ordered the town to follow the law. I attribute this to the fact that Klineburger (based upon his testimony to the court) acknowledged that he had very little prior relevant experience relating to OPRA.

    Obviously, the $5 recording issue is another where I asked the town to change the law. They didn’t. They lost. We have the same issue with the costs of copies for OPRA requests. They currently charge allowable maximums however the law is clear that they are only supposed to charge the actual township costs. I have brought this issue up before, and I will be pressing the town to fix this problem as well.

    Relating to the 2/3 meeting the judge ruled that they violated the Open Public Meetings Act. The town’s attorney had previously written to the judge that the town would not do this again. That it the reason I believe that judge did not sanction them. The fact that I brought this up at the following public meeting and the mayor failed to acknowledge that they violated the law, defended his actions, failed to apologize to the town was one of the reasons for the lawsuits. My view is simple. If they make a mistake, admit it, apologize and agree not to do it again. Don’t sit up there and defend your mistake. The fact that the mayor continued to think that the he was vindicated by the judge in the Retrospect article after the judge ruled that they violated the OPMA is truly what is at the heart of the issue, period. Open government is my main focus.

    • I assume your case is now finalized.

      When will you publish all of the papers in your case?

      • I have emailed John Paff to see if he will put them on his website. Hopefully in the next week or so I will have them all available on the internet.

  9. For anyone interested in reading the written info of Superior Judge Louis Meloni reg. Casel v. Twp of Haddon, please go to:

    http://ogtf.lpcnj.org/2009307Yn//CasselHaddon.pdf

    Anyone who uses the internet is able to find out so much by just a little “button pushing” on a computer.

    Isn’t modern technology wonderful!

  10. I’m a citizen who likes to research issues – reviewing the New Jersey GRC site regarding OPRA denials submitted to State of New Jersey there is one decision from this year about HaddonTownship:

    http://www.state.nj.us/grc/decisions/pdf/2008-156.pdf

    I wonder what was the information that was “redacted” from a “resume” for Ms. Kate Burns??

    • If the resume included her home address and home phone number, would it be fair to redact that information?

      • No. Those items are public records. So are email addresses. I emailed Kathy F to see if she could provide us with details. If there is a SS#, that could be redacted. After briefly reading the GRC opinion, it doesn’t appear that the town followed the law.

  11. “Tomcat” has been renamed “Tom there have been no secret meetings Cassel” after having his ass handed to him by Klineberger

    • I just looked up the Court Rules and if Tom beleives that the secret meetings happened, then he could appeal. However, if the appeals court upholds Judge Melni’s opinion, Tom would be responsible for the Township’s legal bills.

      Come on Tom, put your money where your mouth is…. file an appeal! Let the Township win on the appeals level and get our tax monies back!

      • That’s a few too many commas, esquire

        😉

        how’s the divorce and bankruptcy business going?

        you get what you pay for!

  12. Oh please.

    The article written by the law journal summarized things nicely.

    For those of you (anon-paul maybe?) who would rather slander Cassel than deal with the issues, allow me to attempt a “cliff-notes” summary.

    Cassel appears to have asked for over a year for Randy and Paul to maintain their campaign promise of open government. Given the climate of the prior administration (cited for ethics violations) this is an important issue for our town.

    Randy and Paul and their campaign-donor turned solicitor Klineberger were openly rude, confrontational, and generally derisive towards Cassel and refused to address the issues.

    Issues:
    1) Randy and Paul and John held a public meeting in violation of NJ law. Cassel submitted an OPRA request for audio recordings of the meeting, and was provided an INCOMPLETE tape that started at 7pm. Randy attributes this fiasco to some complicated situation in which Dougherty couldn’t attend some meeting but they were all there so they decided to just start the municipal meeting 30 minutes early (rough interpretation, I can’t really walk through everything Randy is shoveling in the Retrospect article.) But here’s the kicker folks — for this supposed ‘innocent mistake’ all of the department heads just happened to be there to start the meeting early. Then when Cassel asks for the audio recording of their illegal meeting, they just ‘accidentally’ given him a recording that doesn’t have the first approx 30 minutes or so. When Cassel asks what the heck is going on, they blow him off. So he files a lawsuit, court finds that CASSEL WAS RIGHT.

    The tragedy — if Randy and Paul had just come clean on whatever they were pulling that day (or even offered that fancy-pants story Randy gave the retrospect) lawsuit could have been averted.

    If Randy’s story is to be believed, then these supposed professionals are playing ‘amateur hour’ with our tax dollars and their campaign-donor.. i mean their solicitor klineberger.

    Let’s move to the next issue folks.

    Cassel alleged that they were illegally overcharging citizens for OPRA requests. Again Randy and Paul and their campaign-donor.. i mean solicitor klineberger tell him to buzz off and stop being such a pain. So what can Cassel do — he is a responsible citizen and does the only remaining option — he takes it to court. SURPRISE — courts says Cassel was right.

    Next issue:

    Cassel has asked numerous questions over the past few years of the commissioners, and they have basically refused to answer him. As a supposed coincidence, the alleged law partner of their campaign-donor-solicitor Klineberger threatened Cassel with a lawsuit when Cassel exposed their alleged pay-to-play actions on the Courier post website. (For those of you interested in this little debacle, read the Courier post editorial that slammed the commissioners for this little childish act.)
    So since Cassel can’t get a straight answer from Randy and Paul (and the now infamous campaign-donor Klineberger) he does the only option a citizen has — he submits a request for access to public documents to get the facts himself.
    But here is the kicker folks — the campaign-donor-solicitor Klineberger allegedly goes (or allegedlly causes someone else to go) magic-marker-crazy on the documents and crosses a whole lotta stuff out of them.
    Cassel then says “hey guys” you gave me a nice coloring book of black magic marker but didn’t give me the documents I asked.
    Randy and Paul tell him to go and proverbially pound sand.
    So Cassel does the ONLY remaining option : he asks a judge to intervene. And the judge says……… CASSEL was RIGHT and the redactions (magic marker crazyiness on the documents) were against the law.

    That brings us to issue 4 : the alleged secret meetings. Klinebergers defense of his billing practices is that he supposedly uses or used a billing program that predates windows (MSDOS or something like that) but Klineberger didn’t recall the name of the program, but that is why his billing records are about as clear as the black magic marker he caused to be rubbed all over the public documents Cassel requested. I wonder if Klineberger uses this antiquated billing program for all of his clients, or just the taxpayers. It certainly is convenient that Klineberger claims his billing program prevents public scrutiny of the bills he submits to us taxpayers, isn’t it???
    Evidently the judge then felt that Randy’s statements at the public meeting didn’t have to be accurate since he wasn’t ‘sworn in’, and accepted Klinebergers convoluted explanation of this whole fiasco during the trial.
    To be fair, the judge ruled and that is the ruling. But it certainly seems (and the law journal article appears to tilt this way too) that Klineberger’s explanation is curious. It is also unfortunate that the court’s opinion is that if our public officials are not ‘sworn in’ and ‘under oath’ we the public can’t necessarily expect what they say at the meetings to be accurate.

    So to summarize: Cassel asked them to keep their campaign promise of open government. They allegedly did not, so he asked judge to rule. And Judge ruled Cassel was RIGHT on 3/4 (75 %) of his claims.

    I suggest St Evelyn go back to the campaign promises Randy and Paul had on their campaign website (the site has disappeared, but some of the campaign literature is still arround) and tell us what % of their promises have they kept? Hint : it’s a lot less than 75 percent.

    Now that the judge has ruled overwhelmingly in favor of Cassel all the anonymous and St Evelyns can do is attack Cassel. Maybe that outrage would be better directed at the illegal actions of the commisioners.

    Now for the comments that the judge didn’t “sanction” the town enough money: that is exactly right. Cassel and his lawyer apparently engaged in a dialogue with the town’s layer, and Cassel and his lawyer accepted being provided with proper OPRA documents (that means minus the magic marker on everything). They apparently never wanted the town/taxpayers to be fined — they just wanted the problem fixed. If the town had been fined (which is not what Cassel apparently wanted) St Evelyn and his anonymous cronies would be screaming about wasted taxpayer dollars.

    Shame on Randy Teague, Paul Dougherty, and Richard Klineberger. This town deserves and needs better.

    • Cliff Notes version? NOT!

      The succinct version is the judge’s letter.

      He made five decisons…

      1. Did defendent violate OPMA by beginning at 6:20 PM when they advertised it would start at 7:00 PM?

      Yes. It’s a violation.

      Your “crap” about incomplete tapes and the convenience of all the department heads being present is just that, “crap” and is of no more value than the commisioners defense that no decisons were made or resolutions passed.

      2. Plaintiff requests a restraing order against the township from future violation (of OPMA)

      Requests denied

      That little tidbit has been conveniently left out of every summary I’ve reviewed. I expect it was left out because of the judge’s inconvenient reasoning… “There is no evidence that there ever was a recurring problem or that this situation had ever occurred before or after the February 3, 2009 meeting.

      3. Did the defendent violate OPRA by redacting specific sections of executive session minutes from 2007?

      It is a violation but the judge did not render a decision as the issue was resolved by the parties by offering and accepting an unredacted or more narrowly redacted document… there was no mention of coloring books.

      4. Is it a violation of OPRA to overcharge Plaintiff for an audiotape?

      It is a violation and the township owes the defendent the $4.12

      A) the current commissioners enforced an ordinance adopted by a prior administration and that ordinance presumably received the impramatur of the previous, more experience solicitor. The ordinance was flawed from the start. Why the government watchdogs didn’t pick that up is anyone’s guess

      B) if $4.12 is an obstacle to open government, you got a bigger problem then open government.

      5. (My personal favorite) WERE THERE SECRET MEETINGS?

      No

  13. Thanks for your 3 am input Hogan but remember you do not pay taxes. Now its a simple truth Hogan and Cassel post as anons. Funny thing is Hogan passed the ordinance that mandates the $5.00 charge.

  14. Kathy Hogan does not pay taxes? How does she get away with that?

  15. Kathy Hogan has not posted in months and when she does she will post with her name.

    Ummm, Sean, not trying to be smart but there are many Apt. complexes.

    Not that makes a difference as to who can post and who can’t. A change in taxes touches everyone.

  16. I was baiting the anonymous about Kathy Hogan not paying taxes. I understand she lives in an apartment and does not directly pay taxes but part of her rent does go towards the taxes that the complex pays. I hate that argument.

  17. I agree and apologize

  18. Thanks St Evelyn for confirming that the judge found overwhelming in favor of Mr. Cassel.

    Are you saying the dept heads were not there? Are you saying the tape that was originallly given to Mr. Cassel as a result of his OPRA request did not start at 7am? Please.

    The only mistake Cassel made was in agreeing to accept the un-magic-markered up documents to settle the Klineberger redaction issue. Cassel tried to be fair to the town and not rake them over the coals for their amateur hour mistakes and you guys now chortle that since their wasn’t a bigger fine it doesn’t count.

    I hope the next person that takes the town to court learns from this and doesn’t concede one single inch and takes the town to the mat. Your comments that you make on behalf of Randy and Paul shows that you guys just don’t get it, and there are sure to be more lawsuits as a results. When you and Paul are giggling about your posts here remember — they were elected to serve the people, and Mr. Cassel is just as much one of their constituents as their campaign donors.

    Is it too much to ask for fair and open government without these silly games?

    Maybe next time Klineberger can use one of those scented magic markers for the redactions to make it more festive — please redact my OPRA requests with blueberry Blue crayola. thanks in advance.

    Now St. Evelyn, I think you owe Mr .Cassel an apology since for months you posted and posted and ranted that his lawsuit was a gimmick, but court found 75 % of it was right-on. But we know you won’t apologize, just like you don’t live in New Zealand, or any of the other silly stuff you shovel on here to act as Randy and Paul’s proxy disrupter of the only open forum for public discussion in this town. Too bad there isn’t an egg timer and police storm troopers here to sit us down! How many times have you called Paul today for your giggles? Are you in the running for a nice appointment next round of hand-outs?

    • “Thanks St Evelyn for confirming that the judge found overwhelming in favor of Mr. Cassel.”

      Peel the tin foil back from your head or wait for the home health aid to come home and explain the implications of the Judges decisions. An affirmation of a complaint is overwhelming only in your nocturnal dreams… If you know what I mean

      “Are you saying the dept heads were not there? Are you saying the tape that was originallly given to Mr. Cassel as a result of his OPRA request did not start at 7am? Please.”

      Uh, no. Reread my post and you’ll see I said those issues as well as the commissioners defenses, are “crap”.

      “The only mistake Cassel made was in agreeing to accept the un-magic-markered up documents to settle the Klineberger redaction issue. Cassel tried to be fair to the town and not rake them over the coals for their amateur hour mistakes and you guys now chortle that since their wasn’t a bigger fine it doesn’t count.”

      Cassel did not make a mistake. He negotiated an end to the complaint and got as good as he could get.

      “I hope the next person that takes the town to court learns from this and doesn’t concede one single inch and takes the town to the mat.”

      Really? How soon can we expect the next lawsuit?

      “Your comments that you make on behalf of Randy and Paul shows that you guys just don’t get it, and there are sure to be more lawsuits as a results.”

      It’s RESULT not RESULTS. I make no comments on behalf of anyone…. It’s all mine.

      “When you and Paul are giggling about your posts here remember — they were elected to serve the people, and Mr. Cassel is just as much one of their constituents as their campaign donors.”

      Again, not so much for you, but for new readers, I don’t know Paul.

      “Is it too much to ask for fair and open government without these silly games?”

      From what I read of the judge’s letter, there is open (not perfect, but open) government… You might want the home health aid to read it to you slowly.

      “Maybe next time Klineberger can use one of those scented magic markers for the redactions to make it more festive — please redact my OPRA requests with blueberry Blue crayola. thanks in advance.”

      Another Nocturnal Dream?

      “Now St. Evelyn, I think you owe Mr .Cassel an apology since for months you posted and posted and ranted that his lawsuit was a gimmick, but court found 75 % of it was right-on.”

      I never said his lawsuit was a “gimmick” and 3 out of 5 decisions is 60% if you give even weight to every decision. I don’t. Winning a decision that net’s you $4.12 does not have the same value as a decision that says there were NO SECRET MEETINGS!

      “But we know you won’t apologize, just like you don’t live in New Zealand, or any of the other silly stuff you shovel on here to act as Randy and Paul’s proxy disrupter of the only open forum for public discussion in this town.”

      There’s nothing to apologize over except for you and your side to beg forgiveness for asserting there were secret meeting and double billings…. I’m not Randy or Paul’s disrupter because I don’t know them. And as to “open forums”… BS!

      “Too bad there isn’t an egg timer and police storm troopers here to sit us down! ”

      I have more respect for local police than to refer to them as “storm troopers”… Shame on you.

      “How many times have you called Paul today for your giggles?”

      I never called, faxed, emailed, IMed or sent smoked signals to Paul. Not today. Not ever…. But I bet he giggles every time you write your crap.

      “Are you in the running for a nice appointment next round of hand-outs?”

      I make a nice living doing what I do without benefit of government largesse. I take it you’re upset cuz you lost your tit at the trough. Cheer up… home health aid will be home soon.

    • Why does Tom post Anonymous, speak about himself in the thrid persona nd then deny it is him?

      See the quotes above:

      “Maybe next time Klineberger can use one of those scented magic markers for the redactions to make it more festive — please redact my OPRA requests with blueberry Blue crayola. thanks in advance.
      Now St. Evelyn, I think you owe Mr .Cassel an apology since for months you posted and posted and ranted that his lawsuit was a gimmick, but court found 75 % of it was right-on.”

  19. 25% was due to Hogan

  20. Which anon was it——-my guess Tom because Hogan is still resting from last night’s hot air.

  21. Let’s talk about the redaction issue. Klineburger did the original redactions which caused that part of the lawsuit according to our clerk. Honestly, I just wanted to see the documents I requested which were the minutes for the executive session meetings of the commissioners for the past 2 years. I didn’t think that was such a difficult thing to get. Some of them were completely magic markered. There were items blacked out that I knew had been resolved; however, they improperly redacted them.

    Also, the law requires that for each redaction, they must provide the legal reason why so that you can understand if the properly redacted them. They didn’t provide ANY reasons for the redactions until I filed the lawsuit. In my opinion, it showed total ignorance of the law.

    Once they properly redacted the documents, I was satisfied and that issue was resolved. I will say however that it took several passes at this until it was done correctly.

  22. The problem St. Evelyn is that a citizen had to take Randy and Paul and campaign-donor-with-no-prior-municipal-experience-appointed-solicitor Klineberger to court to get access to public documents that he was entitled to have. And that was after he asked nicely for approx 1.5 years.

    And after a concerned citizen did the right thing to protect his rights and the interests of open government you spent about a year on this blog trashing him. And now you don’t have the common decency to admit that your boys Randy and Paul broke the law. This is especially abhorrent since Randy and Paul ran on the platform that they were ‘lawyers’ and ‘professionals’, and yet they needed a common citizen to teach them basic municipal law.

    And then we have Klineberger. As I read it, his defense is that his billing practice uses an antiquated billing program that can not produce accurate bills or bills that can be scruitized in any manner? Am I to believe that he usese this antiquated program for all of his clients, or just us taxpayers? If anyone knows any of Klinebergers clients perhaps they could inquire about the general billing practices.

    And then we have St. Evelyn. You sir have posted nothing but baloney since you showed up here. Your multiple inaccuracies are a matter of the record on these blogs. You appear from your posts to lack integrity and character. I believe you when you say you don’t know Randy and Paul about as much as I believed you when you said you lived in New Zealand. Convenient that you only crawl on here when there is a discussions about Randy and Paul’s regime.

    If it wasn’t for citizens like Cassel that have the courage to stand up and wither countless personal attacks, insults, and actual police detainment (when Randy had the police silence him for daring to read a statement during public comment portion of meeting) our rights and access to honest open government would continue to be eroded.

    Oh and St. Evelyn, chew on this : I know for a fact that Randy and Paul have met in Randy’s office to discuss matters that are official township business, and that these meetings were not properly notified to public, and no minutes were maintained. That’s right, I am stating it’s a fact.

    • You’re so obsessed over your defeat, I almost feel bad for you. Wipe the foam from your lips, take your medicine and calm down. Really.

      “The problem St. Evelyn is that a citizen had to take Randy and Paul and campaign-donor-with-no-prior-municipal-experience-appointed-solicitor Klineberger to court to get access to public documents that he was entitled to have. And that was after he asked nicely for approx 1.5 years.”

      That’s not a problem… it was his complaint. It’s been resolved. Calm down.

      “And after a concerned citizen did the right thing to protect his rights and the interests of open government you spent about a year on this blog trashing him.”

      I didn’t agree with him on every point he presented, but I did not “trash” him.

      “And now you don’t have the common decency to admit that your boys Randy and Paul broke the law.”

      They’re not my boy, my girls, my pets, my parents or even aquaintences. They did not break the law like a couple of felons. They made decisions, they were challenged, their decisions were reversed. Again take your medicine and calm down.

      “This is especially abhorrent since Randy and Paul ran on the platform that they were ‘lawyers’ and ‘professionals’, and yet they needed a common citizen to teach them basic municipal law.”

      Cassel exercised his rights, but I would not agree he taught them basic municipal law. They had a disagreement and now it’s been resolved. Now breathe deeply and relax.

      “And then we have Klineberger. As I read it, his defense is that his billing practice uses an antiquated billing program that can not produce accurate bills or bills that can be scruitized in any manner?”

      Chillax man. The judge went over all this in his letter. Mr. Klineburger answered all of the judge’s questions and (I know this kills you) found him to be credible which in turn led him to decide there were no secret (hush hush mush mush) meetings.

      “Am I to believe that he usese this antiquated program for all of his clients, or just us taxpayers? If anyone knows any of Klinebergers clients perhaps they could inquire about the general billing practices.”

      Let us know how many responses you recieve.

      “And then we have St. Evelyn.”… (ME!!!!)

      “You sir “(You’ve been watching to much Keith Olbermann) “have posted nothing but baloney since you showed up here.” (That’s your opinion) “Your multiple inaccuracies are a matter of the record on these blogs.” (I imagine you keep a notebook, like the Rainman, logging every inaccuracy by date) “You appear from your posts to lack integrity and character.(Your rapacious wit slays me) “I believe you when you say you don’t know Randy and Paul about as much as I believed you when you said you lived in New Zealand.” (You just can’t let go of that New Zealand thing… which just shows you lack any sense of humor… sad) “Convenient that you only crawl on here when there is a discussions about Randy and Paul’s regime.” (Crawl? I step up to your malicious drivel and you hate to be challenged… get over it)

      “If it wasn’t for citizens like Cassel that have the courage to stand up and wither countless personal attacks, insults, and actual police detainment (when Randy had the police silence him for daring to read a statement during public comment portion of meeting)”

      … Isn’t that because time was up and he refused to yield as the rules prescribed?

      “our rights and access to honest open government would continue to be eroded.”

      “Oh and St. Evelyn, chew on this : I know for a fact that Randy and Paul have met in Randy’s office to discuss matters that are official township business, and that these meetings were not properly notified to public, and no minutes were maintained. That’s right, I am stating it’s a fact.”

      Put up or shut up… You have all the contact information necessary to press a claim… YOU WON’T. cuz it never happened.

  23. How does Hogan not pay taxes? She lives in a high rise apartment and holds her meetings in the public library, She pays for rent what the rest of pay in taxes.
    Sitting high in her high rise apartment perch, she is the puppet master for Tommy Boy.

  24. Saint Evelyn, the Rain Man reference was good.

  25. St. Eve: You infer that I am made that post. I didn’t. You do say a lot of ridiculous things in that post not even worth responding too because anyone who reads this, including you, know that I was successful in my lawsuit. I am not obsessed, you are, obviously by the posts you are making.

    • “St. Eve: You infer that I am made that post.”

      No, I did not. If I thought you made an anonymous post, I’d say so. I wouldn’t dance around it.

      “You do say a lot of ridiculous things in that post not even worth responding too…”

      You’re entitled to your opinion and I’m entitled to mine

      “…because anyone who reads this, including you, know that I was successful in my lawsuit.”

      You asked the judge to make 5 decisions. He made 5 decisions. Three of them went your way. You want to call that successful, go ahead, be my guest. But anyone who reads this, including you, knows that those 3 decisions you won never garnered one tenth of your sychophants attention as the one complaint of secret meetings. Every thread of conversation on this blog devolves into attacks on the commissioners and their attorney coupled with the breathless anticipation that they would have to resign once the judge agreed with you that the meetings were illegal… That didn’t happen.

      “I am not obsessed, you are, obviously by the posts you are making.”

      Oh really? I’ll let the readers decide.

    • What happened to the “secret meetings”?

      Didn’t Tom call Klinberger and Teague “Liars” in the Courier Post when they said no secret meetings happened? Since the Judge found Klineberger to be “credible” and that there were no meetings; doesn’t that show that they did not “lie”?

      Is that slander?

  26. not to change the subject – but has there been any additional information regarding the HTAA clubhouse in Haddon Township?

    http://nccsdataweb.urban.org/PubApps/showVals.php?ft=bmf&ein=226062787

  27. I never asked them to resign. Only to stop violating the law. There are 4 issues to my lawsuit not 5 that I know about. The 2 OPRA violations and the 2 OPMA violations. I won on both OPRA and the judge agreed that they violated OPMA. Period. I am happy. It would have been nice if he made the solicitor accountable for inaccurate legal bills but that isn’t an OPMA violation which had sworn statements that they were true and accurate but that isn’t the OPMA violation. The judge believed what he said, not what he wrote which was the basis of the lawsuit. I guess professionals shouldn’t be responsible for their written actions. Oh well. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t do anything different. Would Klineburger prepare accurate bills? Obviously. That it his lesson in municipal law.

    • dont’ see anypart of Judge Meloni’s decision which stated that the comissioners nor the solicitor did anything wrong:

      from what I see Tom was charged too much for a CD where the prior admisitration set the fee; a meeting started a little late or a little early and a few lines were redacted that were later changed (less than 5 lines). Oh and Klineburger was found to “cedible”

      So, how much did this cost the Town in cousnel fees for Tom’s lawyer? Couldn’t this have been done in another manner that did not involve a lawsuit?

      Could the town sue Tom for their counsel portion of monies related to the “secret meetings” since he called klineberger a liar and the judge found him credible?

      So, we as taxpayers will pay the bill so that Tom can get on his soapbox over a $5 CD?

      Tom and Hogan should run in 2011,,,,,

    • No, you did not ask them to resign. Not once. But you remained silent every time your sychophants brought up the subject. You embraced the idea with your silence.

      Yes, based on the judge’s letter you presented 4 issues not 5. But you requested an injunction against the township from ever violating the OPMA in the future and he declined your request. That was the fifth decision.

      “It would have been nice if he made the solicitor accountable for inaccurate legal bills but that isn’t an OPMA violation which had sworn statements that they were true and accurate but that isn’t the OPMA violation.”

      I’m sorry. I don’t know what you’re trying to say.

      “The judge believed what he said, not what he wrote which was the basis of the lawsuit. I guess professionals shouldn’t be responsible for their written actions.”

      That tells me you’re more interested in punishment then getting the truth… cuz ya just don’t like him.

      “Oh well. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t do anything different.”

      I’m happy for you.

      “Would Klineburger prepare accurate bills? Obviously. That it his lesson in municipal law.”

      No. That’s not a lesson in municipal law. It’s just a simple bookkeeping lesson and nothing more.

  28. What happened to the “secret meetings”?

    Didn’t Tom call Klinberger and Teague “Liars” in the Courier Post when they said no secret meetings happened? Since the Judge found Klineberger to be “credible” and that there were no meetings; doesn’t that show that they did not “lie”?

    Is that slander?

  29. I dont’ see anypart of Judge Meloni’s decision which stated that the comissioners nor the solicitor did anything wrong:

    from what I see Tom was charged too much for a CD where the prior admisitration set the fee; a meeting started a little late or a little early and a few lines were redacted that were later changed (less than 5 lines). Oh and Klineburger was found to “cedible”

    So, how much did this cost the Town in cousnel fees for Tom’s lawyer? Couldn’t this have been done in another manner that did not involve a lawsuit?

    Could the town sue Tom for their counsel portion of monies related to the “secret meetings” since he called klineberger a liar and the judge found him credible?

    So, we as taxpayers will pay the bill so that Tom can get on his soapbox over a $5 CD?

    Tom and Hogan should run in 2011,,,,,

  30. I just looked up the Court Rules and if Tom beleives that the secret meetings happened, then he could appeal. However, if the appeals court upholds Judge Melni’s opinion, Tom would be responsible for the Township’s legal bills.

    Come on Tom, put your money where your mouth is…. file an appeal! Let the Township win on the appeals level and get our tax monies back!

  31. Tom and Hogan have certainly cost the township a lot of money in the last few years.

  32. What does Hogan have to do with this? Actually the sloppy bills and the improper redactions, the overcharging (which they could have fixed) and the OPMA violation cost them money. I am not the cause of the problem, they are. Sorry that I enjoy knowing what is going on in the town I pay taxes to.

  33. The bills don’t agree to his testimony which is why he sat on the stand for an hour to explain. Billing more than 24 hours in a day isn’t sloppy? Saying you had a meeting when now you say you didn’t, isn’t sloppy? They were sloppy. It wasn’t the judge’s job to say that. Only to rule on OPRA and OPMA. Since he ruled in my favor, the town is required to pay my lawyer’s fees. That isn’t my fault. It is theirs for violating the law.

    • “They were sloppy. It wasn’t the judge’s job to say that.”

      It’s not your job either.

      • They were sloppy. By Klineberger’s own admission he used an antiquated billing program which evidently made it impossible to have the billing records reflect what the bills represented. After Cassel showed that Klineberger billed over 24 hours of work in one day, Commissioner Foley had to go and investigate Klineberger’s billing practices.
        That’s sloppy billing practices.
        St. Evelyn you can not bring yourself to accept that Cassel has been spot-on this entire time.

        St. Evelyn you’re way off base, and your refusal to acknowledge what is now established as fact illustrates that you are simply a Randy-puppet here to spin spin spin.

        The fact that Cassel won even a single judgement against a municipal government in the state of New Jersey speaks volumes to the strength of his case. Cassel took it to city hall and won. Normally that only happens in old Jimmy Stewart movies, and it is obvious the few supporters of Randy and Paul are unable to accept it.

  34. What anon coward wrote this:

    “Oh and St. Evelyn, chew on this : I know for a fact that Randy and Paul have met in Randy’s office to discuss matters that are official township business, and that these meetings were not properly notified to public, and no minutes were maintained. That’s right, I am stating it’s a fact”

    Sounds like Tom since he has already admitted to posting anon. I would be happy to chew on it with a name.

    Cowards.

    It continues to make me laugh that Cassel fails to concur with the fact that Hogan passed the $5.00 ordinance. Right Tom?

    It is also right that Hogan has costs this town over a hundred 100,000 in attorney fees related to her baseless lawsuits.

    Hogan and Cassel perfect together somewhre other than in our Township costing taxpayer money.

    When it is all said and done Cassel lost the only thing that matters. Klineburger was creditble and there were no secret meetings.

    The Courier Post headline said it all and Tom still cannot get over it——–TWP HAD NO ILLEGAL MEETINGS.

  35. Tom, Haddonfield called, they want you. Better yet, Florida is in trouble, they want you back.

  36. Congratulations to Tom on his majority of victories regarding the Haddon Twp. OPMA violations. As a fellow Haddon Twp. resident and Open Government activist – my hand goes out to you. More people should appreciate your efforts, and how by holding our government officials accountable it benefits us all.

  37. How do you measure success with an OPMA & OPRA lawsuit? Residents who file these lawsuits generally do so out of a “sense of principle” as normally they stand to gain nothing monetarily.
    And unfortunately, taking legal action is all to often what it takes to get our government officials to take these laws seriously.
    So, as in Tom’s case – regardless of what the judge’s ruling may be – if he has gotten the desired response being “compliance” then he has won, and so have we all.

  38. Well said O’Neill.

    Tom has the guts to post with his name, stand up, and take all the dirt that the commissioners and their anon-supporters throw at him on this blog.

    Chew on This St. Evelyn: I am not tom.
    Chew on ths: I know for a FACT that Randy and Paul have had meetings in Randy’s office in which they have discussed township business with no minutes taken, and no publication of the meeting as required by OPMA law. This is a FACT.

    Tell you what. If you and any of you anon cowards who just trash honest citizens care to post your real names and contact info I’ll post mine. If my facts are wrong I’m open to a libel suit. But my facts are right, and if Randy and Paul are reading this (we know they are) they know exactly what I’m talking about.

    Randy and Paul have met in Randy’s office and discussed township business behind closed doors. That is a fact. I’ll say it under oath, and I’ll put it in a deposition. Bring it.

  39. St. Evelyn first showed up to stick up for Klineberger way back when. Nothing gets Evelyn more upset that questioning Klineberger. Sounds like a hot-headed friend of Klineberger.
    Remember when Klineberger’s law partner threatened Cassel with a bogus lawsuit?
    I wonder if that character knows St. Evelyn. Randy, Paul, and Klinebergy sure seem to have a lot of angry people that lie in wait to attack any pesky critics.

    Oh, and St. Evelyn : since you are such a stickler for the facts, allow me to correct you. Cassel was not threatened with arrest for exceeding his time limit during puclic comment. The mayor stated that Cassel could not read his statement because it was “not true” and that if he wanted it entered into the public record he could turn it in to Lord Randy, but not read it. It had nothing to do with time limits. It had everything to do with stopping free speech.

    Oh and St. Evelyn, the judge did not rule that the town “never” held secret meetings. The judge ruled that he did not feel that the meetings referenced in Klinebergers cryptic pre-windows-MSDOS computer program were “secret”. Let’s stick to the facts, mmmkay?

  40. Hey I’m looking for a good lawfirm.
    I am worried by this story. Is Klineberger saying that his firm uses a billing program that can not keep records that can accurately explain the bills? Is Klineberger saying that he uses a computer program that is MSDOS and predates Windows95??? Because if that is true, I have concerns about retaining that firm. Or does Klineberger use a different billing program for his private clients and just dust off the old MSDOS computer for the taxpayers?

  41. Out of curiosity, which supporter of Randy and Paul would be a catholic scholar and attempt to emote
    St Evelyn Waugh? It is a poor imitation.

  42. http://nccsdataweb.urban.org/PubApps/990search.php/990search.php

    I thought I remembered reading in the Retrospect paper that the Haddon Township commissioners filed for 501(c)3 non profit status? – does anyone know what name they filed under? I believe nonprofit with this status when filing – it requires $500?? It would be interesting to see where the funds come from for what seems to be several of these nonprofit organizations in Haddon Township.

  43. I think the name of their little boondoggle 501c was “Friends of Haddon Township” or something like that.
    Some history:
    Some very questionable practices were exposed regarding some township fundraisers, most notably the event commonly referred to as “Tony’s Run”, and it was alleged that approximately 10,000 dollars was missing, and Tony himself posted on the old blog saying that he could not get the town to return his calls or give him his money.
    In response to this mess, Randy and Paul stood up and smugly announced they were going to create a 501c.

    The result: the same “run for tony” was held, and township monies were used to supply police, event coordination, block off streets, etc. The money then went to the private 501c of the commissioners. They did not pledge to give that money to Tony, even though the event had been for him for years.

    Subsequently, the commissioners have held their annual “Turkey Trot”, and again the money goes to their PRIVATE 501c. It has never been explained how the accounting is conducted to account for the cost of police, ambulance, blocking off streets, etc. I doubt Randy and Paul use their personal money, but yet the profits go to their private 501c, which is exempt from public oversight — go ahead and try to OPRA their 501c account statements.

    So their you have it folks. Randy and Paul have usurped the once noble “Run for Tony”, and now hold other “charity events” using township police, township streets, and then put the money in their private charity fund.

    I suggest someone else call Betty Band and ask if they can block off the streets and hold a run or bakesale to raise some cash for their 501c, and see how far you get.

    More fun and games from Randy and Paul!

  44. Here is the link to the 2009 Turkey Trot run application requesting that checks be made payable to “Friends of Haddon Township”.

    http://www.dqtridu.com/HTTurk08.htm

    There is does not appear to be a record of any charitable organization registered that with the state in NJ in Haddon Township or Westmont relating to this according to the state website that I can find. It may be that they fall under an exemption for not for profits that raise less than $10,000 gross receipts.

    Also this not for profit does not show up on the national database of charitable organizations that have filed 550’s.

    The address for it is Commissioner Dougherty’s office on the Black Horse Pike.

    All this being said, I understand that this is a great event.

    • Interesting. The address for the donations is to Paul’s private office on Black Horse Pike.
      Now, does Paul’s office also pay the bills for the event, and does Paul’s private office also pay for the employees that work at the event?
      Or is it that we the taxpayer pay to put on these events and then Randy and Paul take the money and do who knows what with it? Hey I wonder if they have ever had any meetings on this charity — if so were they public meetings with minutes, or because its a private ‘fund’ is it exempt? If it’s a private ‘fund’ for them to play with, I don’t see why we the taxpayers have to prop it up.

      Can we start a group called “friends for honest and open government” and host a run and get it advertised on township website and have the police and fire and rescue there, and have township employees staff it and then ask the taxpayers to foot the bill?

      Or do only Randy and Paul get to do this sort of silliness?

  45. I did a Google search on the people you guys are talkimg about, Klineburger does not seem to be the moron you make him out to be….

    http://www.superlawyers.com/new-jersey/lawyer/Richard-F-Klineburger-III/0843031a-3aa6-4d4f-9f60-400b9b27bb5e.html

  46. He is a criminal attorney according to superlawyers. Is there a reason our town needs a criminal attorney to be our solicitor (think about it)? I never said he was a moron.

    Where does it say that he has any municipal experience as a solicitor ( at least prior to Haddon Township) in that link? According to his testimony in court, he doesn’t (or at least he said ‘I can’t recall’)

    Do you think it is a coincidence that a strong campaign supporter and contributor who has no prior municipal solicitor experience (that he can recall) gets appointed by those he contributed to? This is why he didn’t properly redact my OPRA request, in my opinion. He didn’t understand the law, even something as basic as providing a reason for each redaction, any experienced municipal attorney would know. . Whose fault is the lack of relevant prior experience? Well is it Klineburger’s for practicing law in an area where he has little experience, and it is the commissioners’ for appointing him to a position which he doesn’t have the relevant prior experience. None of this says that he is a moron — those are your words, not mine.

    And can you please stop posting twice?

  47. Oh, and by the way, Chris…. identity theft is illegal in New Jersey, too.

  48. Hey that superlawyers website says that Nussey is Klinebergy’s partner. Weren’t they claiming at one point they were not partners in some lawsuit thing?

  49. I love to spin Tom the Top and see him go. He is ready to bust. If he won so soundly why did he post numerous responses to the Courier Post Article and write a letter to the editor to the The Retrospect?

    Why because he lost and this is his only forum to defend his pointless lawsuit. LOL.

    I love to see him use the papers as being so accurate at times and at other times rant how they got it wrong.

    Anon Tom does make me laugh

  50. Ready to bust? That’s funny. You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine. I am happy that you are posting here, but remember, I am posting with my name and you aren’t. Is that because you are a commissioner? And I guess, my spin must be bugging you because the truth hurts.

    I didn’t lose my lawsuit. Since I fully won the OPRA issues, the town is required to pay my lawyer under the law. There is no spin to that. Remember, I did not cause the town this problem. Our solicitor did through his lack of knowledge (or disregard) of OPRA.

    I have never filed a lawsuit personally in the past, and I hope never to have to do it in the future. You all make it sound like am lawsuit happy. It just got to the point where I saw numerous issues which I brought to the commissioners’ attention and they dismissed me just like in the prior post. We have a legal system that deals with issues such as this especially when the public officials we entrust ignore the laws.

  51. BTW, anon make me laugh too mostly because it isn’t me and you cannot figure out who it is.

  52. spin spin spin

  53. Tom, You lost, admit defeat. Even Gore had to admit it when the Supreme Court ruled against him.
    When are you announcing for office?
    You would be the greatest think to happen to HT. You could sit in the middle chair, hire Hogan to tell you what to think and do.

  54. St. Evelyn has been shown for what he is. A shill for the commissioners.

    I offered to post with my name and personal info to back up one simple fact : I know for a fact that Randy and Paul have met and discussed township business in Randy’s office without proper minutes recorded or proper public notice.

    I offered to post with my real name, which would expose me to lawsuit if I am not telling the truth. Interesting how St. Evelyn tucked tail on that issue. Because of one simple reason : Randy and Paul know exactly what I’m talking about.

    I’ll say it under oath. I’ll say it in a deposition, or in any form of written or verbal communication. I know for a fact that Randy and Paul have met in Randy’s office to discuss/conduct township business without proper minutes or public notification.

    So how about it St. Evelyn : if you’re so sure there were no secret meetings take me up on my offer. If I’m wrong your boys can sue my pants off. But you, and I, and the boys know I speak the truth.

    Bring it

    • “I offered to post with my real name, which would expose me to lawsuit if I am not telling the truth. Interesting how St. Evelyn tucked tail on that issue.”

      I’m a salesman with clients in DE, MS, NJ, PA, OH, SD & SC… I work for a living… I don’t sit in a house, out of sight of my home health aid, wearing my tin foil hat and fresh set of depends waiting for a response.

      I think your offer is…

      “Tell you what. If you and any of you anon cowards who just trash honest citizens care to post your real names and contact info I’ll post mine.”

      If this is what you’re writing about… be specific. If all your offering is to reveal your name, I’m not interested cuz I don’t care who you are. You have to put more skin in the game.

      Get back to me… but if your going to respond at 3:30 AM (when the Home Health Aid is sleeping… I’ll be sleeping too.

  55. The only thing you sell St Evelyn is baloney.
    Simple point is that I know for a fact regarding alleged meetings thanks to a whistle-blower.
    You thow mud and insult honest citizens and the best you can offer is insults.
    Offer is simple: if you have any character and integrity to your beliefs then let’s just clear this all up. If you truly want to get to the truth of things I would have thought you’d jump at the chance.

    But, St. Evelyn, you know the score. Your job is to just trash the few that have the guts to stand up with their real names and try to make the town better. Crawl back into your hole with Paul and have some more giggles.

    You just can’t take the fact that after your months of mud throwing the court overwhelming found that Cassel was right. Spin it all you want, but the facts are established.

  56. Hey I just remembered something guys!

    Back when Klinebergers billing issues were first exposed, Commissioner Foley stated that he went to Klinebergys office and investigaed his billing practices and found them to be in order.

    Do you think Commissioner Foley could tell us if Klinebergy uses the same antiquated billing system that is impervious to analysis for his private clients as he uses for us taxpayers?

    Maybe someone could OPRA Commissioner Foley’s documentation of his investigation? As it was a real investigation and caused Foley to vouch for Klinebergy surely he was a professional and has some documentation. Unless of course the ‘investigation” was just window-dressing to help out one of their biggest campaign donors.

    Who’s donating to register for the Turkey Trot this year? Where and to what is that money going?
    These guys are out of control.

    • This fundraiser issue is interesting. I remember a lot of talk about the missing money when they first came into office. Something about Betty Band and St John.

  57. If the whistle blower does not step forward, it’s not whistle blowing. It’s gossip. Since you didn’t witness the meeting… if it even took place… you can’t say what they spoke of. Maybe they met in one office to review box scores from a ball game.

    You got nothing.

    You’re an absolute joke. You condemn me for posting anonymously, yet all you offer are anonymous posts. You don’t have enough creativity to even come up with a unique name.

    Cassel prevailed in 3 out of 5 decisions. Congratulations. Is the sun shining brighter in HT? I don’t think so.

    Bottom line, Spanky? There were no secret meetings. Chew on that next time your home health aid reads you the re-redacted documents.

    • Sorry St. Evelyn. I can state for a fact that Randy and Paul have discussed township business in Randy’s office without minutes recorded or proper public notice.
      It is not a theory, it is not an allegation.

      The individual who has supplied me this information is willing to state it under oath, because they are so tired of hearing these guys lie and claim they have never met in private about township busness.

      St. Evelyn you say you want the truth. This is your chance. If I’m wrong in believing my source, and if the source is wrong, we can easily be taken to court by Randy and Paul. But you see, we’re right.

      This can be settled once and for all,but you need to step up and show the same character and integrity as Cassel : if you or any one of the anon trash-throwers as the guts to stand up and be a real person, the first-hand source of the alleged meeting will step forward. Then if Randy and Paul want to dispute it they can take source to court. But you see, Randy and Paul know exactly what this is about. I bet they tell you not to accept the opportunity.

      You, St. Evelyn, are not at all interested in the truth or making this town better. You are here only to trash honest citizens that dare to ask for better, and do whatever you can to defend Klineberger, Teague, and Dougherty. It’s transparent.

      Fact: Randy Teague and Paul Dougherty have met in Randy’s office and discussed township business without keeping minutes of discussion, and without public notice. It is a fact.

  58. Wow St. Eve. Now you are making up decisions. It is 3 our of 4. Yes, and the sun does shine brighter.

    Here is the letter that I published in the Retro for those who do not subscribe:

    Township Violation of OPMA Not Adequately Reported

    After reading your article, I felt it important to address the reality of the lawsuit. First, your article fails to state that the judge found that town violated the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) in its 2/3/09 special meeting. The people of the town need to understand how important this ruling is to ensure that we have government in the sunshine.

    Your article states that the mayor believed that the town had been vindicated. The Retrospect stated, “The meeting that started before the posted time was just a mistake, he [Mayor Teague} added… Furthermore some members of the public were present, minutes were taken and an audio recording is available.” This may be true now, but it wasn’t back in February.

    Here is the background. The public notice dated 1/30/09 advertised a closed door meeting starting at 6PM “to discuss personnel issues and employment contract negotiations”. It advertised a public meeting for 7PM “to address Appointments of Various Municipal Officials, Employees and Professional Service Providers”. Instead they convened every department head at 6:20PM to have an in depth 2009 operational budget review meeting with all the commissioners. There was absolutely no mention of this in the public notice. Even more importantly, they scheduled this for a sparsely attended “special” meeting, not their regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

    Let’s look at the facts. I OPRA’ed the recording for the meeting and the original recording they “sold” me started at 7PM and didn’t include the 6:20 PM illegal meeting. I only received the “full recording” when the judge ordered the town to provide it to me. Well, Mayor Teague, why wasn’t the full tape made available without filing a lawsuit?

    I listened to the entire meeting recording and this is what I found out. The commissioners asked the department heads to illegally meet at 6PM for a budget meeting (prior to the advertised public meeting). This meeting was not on any agenda. I believe that this was more than a mere mistake.

    In fact, I was shocked that they had this discussion without the public attending. It was absolutely the most open discussion about the town’s operations I had ever heard. In fact, when they they finally passed the budget 5 months later, there was absolutely no discussion about it, because all of the discussion had occurred at this meeting. It was refreshing to hear the level of details that they discussed and I encourage the commissioners to use this meeting as a guide on how to operate in the sunshine.

    If the public is not allowed to attend (through a purported “mistake”), how can the public participate in open government which goes to the heart of the OPMA. This is why the judge ruled that they violated the OPMA. Because the town’s attorney agreed prior to the court’s findings that they would not do it again, the judge agreed not to sanction the town. I agree with the judge on that.

    However, based upon fact that they invited all the department heads to attend an unadvertised meeting about how our tax dollars are spent, I believe that this was a premeditated attempt by our commissioners to discuss our 2009 budget behind closed doors without public input. This is why we have the Open Public Meeting Act and this is why the judge ruled that the town violated the law. This is clearly not a vindication of the town’s actions.

    • It’s 3 out of 5… you requested an injunction against the town and the judge denied your request… I don’t deny the 3 wins but the letter I read shows 5 decisions were made.

      • St. Evelyn the injunction had nothing to do with the validity of the allegation. 3/4 allegations were upheld in court as accurate. You owe Cassel and apology for the way you trashed him for a year. The fourth allegation was not upheld based on the evidence before the court.
        But, there is now a first-hand source that will state under oath that Randy and Paul have met in Randy’s office and discussed township business, so Cassel is right on 4/4.

        St. Evelyn, you have yet to be proven correct on a single one of your silly statements. You say you’re a salesman? Used cars perhaps, or is it Amway?

        It chews you up inside that Cassel has been right all this time. You can’t help but log back on here and post.
        It consumes you, Randy-puppet.

        • The judge mad 5 decisions. Cassel won 3. He lost 2. You can type till you fingernails turn blue and it won’t change that fact.

          If you have anything to support your allegation there were secret meeting, put up or shut up.

          You seem to have a disdain for salesmen. Why? I don’t know… The foundation of our economy is a sale. Nothing happens until a sale is made. In this economy, you’re either a saleman (or woman) or you support a salesman or woman.

          I know where I fit in the equation. And I have a sense where you fit… You’re just a little worker bee trying to justify yourself.

          Good luck with that.

          • you’re a ssalesman selling baloney and we’re not buying

            show some integrity, re-read your vile rants of the past year, and apologize to Cassel – the courts proved him right. Honest citizen harassed by randy and paul and the likes of you. and he was right all the time.

            he’s made the town a better place. you sir have done nothing but trash. just like your boys rand, paul, and rich.

            • Little worker bee… have your home health aid read the judges letter letter to you SLOWLY. If you’re not overmedicated, you’ll hear yes three times and no twice.

              Cassel knows the Stanley Cup will be played from hell before I offer an apolgy that is NOT DESERVED.

              • And I don’t deserve an apology because?

                I guess you have a really really hard time saying “You were right Tom and at least you are one person who isn’t afraid to follow through based upon your convictions. What an admirable quality!”

                I am done on this topic. Yes we should discuss other issues, as long as the commissioners follow the practices of Open Government. I have proven what I wanted to prove, at least relating to the specifics around my lawsuit.

                One other topic that seems to have fallen off the wagon. Are we still being sued by Wildwood or has that been settled? If it has, what meeting was it settled in? If not, who is representing the town in the litigation?

  59. I’m just wondering, will the individuals in conversation on this site about a case that has ended; the ruling made, with different interpretation by different individuals, still be continuing this unending conversation and celebrate New Years Eve toasting to “whatever”?? You have a very interesting town to follow. It seems you have many, many issues to learn more about. To start with: a) the Haddon Township athletic association clubhouse built incorrectly under state laws and you cannot seem to locate the president of the organization to respond to questions. b) your last elected officials created a nonprofit 501c3 after they were elected for whatever REAL reason (is there any other township where the elected officials did something like this??) I believe the residents of Haddon Township do not want to waste their time rereading the same old “stuff”, but maybe they do?? Anyway, did anyone in this wonderful conversation about this case graduate from Haddon Township High School in 1976 or 1966??

  60. St. Evelyn,
    take a breath and a step back. go back and read the vile posts you have made attacking citizens that want open government over the past year.
    They were right. You owe an apology. Show some character and integrity.

  61. LK45smile makes a good point. Some festering issues that need to be resolved

    1) What happened to inital missing (approx 10,000) money from “Tony’s Run” event

    2) Status of 501c allegedly created called “friends of Haddon Townsihp” by Randy/Paul/Commissioner Foley.

    3) Financial explanation of who pays for cost of events that fund this private fund of Randy/Paul/Commisioner Foley

    4) Resolution of alleged billing issues with Klineberger. Did he use same mysterious system for his private clients?

    5) Detailed review of Housing Authority appointments and one important issue: review records of sales of property by seniors who then moved into senior housing. It is alleged that a person involved in the process of senior housing also may have been purchaser/seller of senior’s homes : if so, was this conflict of interest managed appropriately?

    6) Status of eminent domain abuse issue.

    7) Review of appointments made by current administration and review of potential conflicts of interest/personal relationships

    8) Update of status regarding investigation into the alleged improper relay of information from OPRA requests to attorney representing Klineberger’s alleged law partner in alleged initmidation lawsuit. article here :
    http://theretrospect.com/default.asp?sourceid=&smenu=1&twindow=&mad=&sdetail=1343&wpage=1&skeyword=&sidate=&ccat=&ccatm=&restate=&restatus=&reoption=&retype=&repmin=&repmax=&rebed=&rebath=&subname=&pform=&sc=1155&hn=theretrospect&he=.com

    9) Update on Fieldstone situation

    10) Update on Theater

    11) Investigation of potential conflicts of interest and how they are managed regarding change orders submitted later for projects that are initially awarded contracts promising to do work for a low price, then price jacked up later — what is process for approving this? Is there any oversight to review for and manage any potential conflicts of interest between township engineer and those firms?

    12) Analysis of cost of living changes in township after they jacked up fees on a great many things.

    Lets make Haddon Township a better place to live, and get rid of the lingering anger and fighting and division that is fostered by the Randy Teague Paul Dougherty (aka Bill Park sequel) administration.

  62. Great post Citizen Kane
    I would like to add one:

    Could anyone provide an accouting of how much money Paul Dougherty costs the taxpayers for his ‘healthcare’ package for himself, wife and family?
    Since commisioner meetings are on average 30 minutes X 2 = 1 hour /month, and Paul and Randy don’t meet to discuss stuff in private, how much is he collecting for 1 hour of work/month? Does 1 hour of work/month merit full healthcare benefits for his entire family when he still runs his own law practice?

    The taxpayers can’t pay no more. Enough!!!!

  63. Tom Cassel, on November 16th, 2009 at 4:02 pm Said:
    “And I don’t deserve an apology because?”

    If you want an apology, post the transgression that requires an apology.

    “I guess you have a really really hard time saying “You were right Tom and at least you are one person who isn’t afraid to follow through based upon your convictions. What an admirable quality!”

    Careful… You’re gonna break your arm patting your back.

    Review the comments made since you announced your lawsuit. How many of your sychophants chomped on their bits waiting for the resolutiion of overcharges? None. How many could not wait to bask in the sunshine of re-redacted documents? None.

    All their focus was on Secret Meetings and how soon the commissioners would resign in shame after your slam dunk win… that never came.

    I’ll give you an apology… right after you stand at the microphone and apologize for the venom your posts foment. You should be ashamed of yourself. Your posts were the fertilizer your sychophants fed on and you NEVER ONCE stepped up and wrote “Now, now. We’re about open government. We’re not hear to smear anyone”

    You’re pure because you never asked for a resignation? Please.

    “I am done on this topic. ”

    Fine by me… I like non-fiction anyway.

  64. St. Evelyn read through the posts the past year. The only vile posts are by you smearing anyone who dared to step forward with their real name.

    Give up your act.
    Cassel was found right in an overwhelming decision by the courts. You trashed him for a year, and said his lawsuit had no merit. You were wrong, and you lack the character and integrity to even attach a name to your vile posts and attacks.
    Let me take a guess… does your real name start with the letter P or R? Just curious.

    Keep on posting, you are proving Tom’s point.

    • Show me one post… don’t tell me to review posts… I don’t take homework assignments from mentally challenged, depends clad, sychophants

      Cassel won 3 out 5 decisions. Two of them are immaterial. The third was a no brainer. The 4th decision? NO SECRET MEETINGS! The fifth decision? No injunction, because there’s no basis for one.

      My name starts with one of the other 24 letters in the alphabet… I’m pretty sure yours starts with an “A”… Go figure

      • go read your old posts — you own them. and they own you.

        you can’t resist the urge to have the last word. you will reply to this post. you can’t help yourself. you are a randy-puppet. go ahead, post. it’s ok we understand. scratch that itch st. evelyn. scratch it hard.

        it consumes you

  65. OPRA violations are immaterial? No. They are the law. Actually you are immaterial.

    • Ah, so much for “I’m not posting on this subject anymore.”

      Have you posted all the paperwork you promised to post?

  66. I wasn’t posting on the subject, particularly. I was posting about immaterial you and your ridiculous statements.

    Can we chat about the theatre? I think it is incredibly great that a group of citizens have worked to put the Westmont on the national historic register. I think that if we can renovate and restore our older buildings in town, that is what gives the town character. I have been involved in numerous restorations, which by their nature, cost more than building new buildings. But in the end, you have some incredible assets. I can also say that having Margaret Westfield involved as architect is also excellent. She is the most renowned historic architect in the area. The fact that she lives nearby gives us a great resource to give this restoration a chance of actually happening.

    I also believe that we need to totally allow a variance for any parking issues at the theatre. Look at the Ritz. It has no parking whatsoever. The times I have been there, there has never been a parking issue. Granted, it is smaller, but the Westmont’s demise should not be determined because of parking. Quite frankly, now there are three additional lots available right next to the theatre. Maybe the town should buy them from Pang as part of a settlement, At least the theatre will have a fighting chance if that happens.

    Lastly, it is important that whatever occurs at the Westmont, it is economically viable. That will ensure its long term success.

  67. Since you are yawning. Good night.

  68. Good night, Tom

  69. St. Evelyn is only interested in trashing anyone that dares to criticize Randy and Paul, for reasons that are increasingly transparent.

    For one year St. Evelyn spewed vile venom at Cassel and anyone else that dared to ask for what they are entitled by law : open government and access to public records.

    For one year St. Evelyn beat a drum chanting that Cassel was wrong and had no case. Judge finds overwhelmingly that Cassel was right

    Now St. Evelyn’s new drum is that well heck the town broke some laws but who cares those laws don’t matter anyhow.

    Please.

    After watching your little campaign commercial for Randy and Paul for a year St. Evelyn, it’s old, and you owe the good people who dared to question the illegal acts of the township an apology.

    Honest citizens step forward and dare to ask for honest government and you and your crew just throw hate and mud at them. I hope you’re telling the truth and don’t live in the town, because poison attitudes like what you display here are what destroy communities. Go back and read you old hateful posts. You should be ashamed.

    Every time anyone posts you have a reply up within minutes : do you and Randy and Paul sit in your command center and monitor the free speech outlets in the town? Go sound the alarm, another post went up. See if you have the self control to wait at least 5 minutes before you throw more hate at the town: it consumes you. Now count to 300 before replying, please.

    • “For one year St. Evelyn beat a drum chanting that Cassel was wrong and had no case. Judge finds overwhelmingly that Cassel was right”

      I think the lawsuit was filed in March, so how could I be beating the drum for a year? Oh, that’s right Rainman, facts don’t get in your way.

      “After watching your little campaign commercial for Randy and Paul for a year St. Evelyn, it’s old, and you owe the good people who dared to question the illegal acts of the township an apology.”

      Three times I wrote, present a transgression worthy of an apology and I’ll respond.

      You present nothing because you have nothing.

      • St. Evelyn,
        take a break and go read through your old posts. You’ve been spewing vile posts here directed at Cassel and any other honest citizen that dares to ask for honest government for close to a year now; and that doesn’t include the vile posts you made on the old blog under your other name.

        See how long you can contain yourself before you post again. Quick call Randy and Paul and sound the alarm – another post went up on the blog!!! quickly to action St. Evelyn!

        It consumes you

        • Just for the record…. “Yawn”

          • you can’t help yourself but to post.

            now go and bite you nails and fight the urge to post a response. fight and fight it. but we know you will give in to your carnal desires and post like the randy-puppet you are.

            it consumes you

  70. Just as an observation, everyone responding to the “continuing writings” of a certain individual on this Haddontwp.wordpress site, actually, are doing what I believe they want to happen. Just like politicians, they can keep you off the “real issues” by directing you in other directions and sometimes “people follow”, going the incorrect way. Just a suggestion: It would be better to “ignore” any post from some individuals and let them “talk to themselves”. It’s interesting to see the article in Retrospect of 11/13/09

    http://www.theretrospect.com/default.asp?sourceid=&smenu=1&twindow=&mad=&sdetail=2111&wpage=1&skeyword=

    Apparently more planning board members showed up for this meeting. Written in this article, a member says that they don’t think it would have ever gotten through (the planning board??). How did it get to be built as far as it was (there had been a picture in the Retrospect earlier) before planning board members knew about it? Do your planning board members receive money for being board members? Has your township had other issues like this where something is built and then the discussions begin??

  71. LK. You are right about the whole enforcement thing. The most egregious situation was the Zizak illegal dump on Ormand that the commissioners refused to allow to go to the planning board. It was also the situation where the Mayor threatened to have Chief Cavallo arrest me at a meeting for speaking up in defense of a fellow citizen. And then without public discussion, decisions are made. And they ignored the recommendations of the township engineer on what should be done. We had whole discussions about this mess that they put a band aid on. Let’s see there this most recent situation goes. I don’t think we have heard the end of it.

  72. Haddon Township Planning Board minutes

    April 2, 2009 (PDF) 23KB
    October 2, 2008 (PDF) 21KB
    July 21, 2008 (PDF) 56KB
    June 5, 2008 (PDF) 77KB
    May 1, 2008 (PDF) 3MB
    April 21, 2008 (PDF) 70KB
    April 8, 2008 (PDF) 68KB
    March 6, 2008 (PDF) 59KB
    February 7, 2008 (PDF) 110KB

    The above information is on the Haddon Township web page – I was wondering if the Haddon Township Planning Board really did not meet from October 2, 2008 until April 2,2009, or was it not possible to post the minutes for other meetings that may have been held??

    • you could OPRA the planning board minutes

      you will probably get something all magic-markered up that reads like this:

      Planning Board Minutes (redacted by XXXX KXXXXXXXXX)

      XXXXX XXX XXXXX XXXX the XXXXXXX but XXXXXX
      and XXXXX then XXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXX so XXXXX
      XXXXXX XX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX but most importantly, XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
      XXXXXXXXX motions to end the meeting
      XXXXXXXXXXXXX seconds
      XXXXXXX

  73. They meet every month, rain or shine. I threw a quick email to Bonnie Richards, the planning board secretary, asking for this to be updated. I just think it was an oversight as Bonnie is generally extremely diligent in her work.

  74. Anonymous, on November 18th, 2009 at 10:32 pm Said:
    you can’t help yourself but to post.

    now go and bite you nails and fight the urge to post a response. fight and fight it. but we know you will give in to your carnal desires and post like the randy-puppet you are.

    it consumes you

    OMG you’re boring. Time for sleep

    • I’m surprised you allowed an entire 6 minutes to elapse before you, Paul, and Randy (wink wink) sounded the alarm and got your reply ready.

      Keep on monitoring the blog boys! You will reply, because you can not help yourselves.

      It consumes you.

  75. Unfortunately St. Eve I do have to agree with anon on this one. While your comments are always welcome you do account for over 25% of the hits on this blog while the other 75% is spread over our constantly increasing readership

  76. Interesting how Tom defends Bonnie for an oversight. But he sued over the Clerk’s oversight and an ordinace Hogan put through. That’s right she is the brother in law to Charlie D and the losing ticket Tom campaigned for door to door. Just the facts Tom. Spin Spin Spin.

    • I read the lawsuit and most of the posts.
      There was no oversight.

      Commissioners ‘accidentally’ started a meeting early and the department heads ‘just happened’ to all be there. Then an honest citizen asked for a recording and they ‘by oversight’ forgot to include that portion of the accidentally-early-but-we-are-all-here meeting.

      Then when an honest citizen asked for public documents they were improperly redacted (aka magic markered-up)

      Then when an honest citizen asked why the campaign-donor-appointed-solicitor-with-no-prior-municipal-experince klineburger billed for more than 24 hours in one day the answer ws that Klineburger uses a super old billing program that just can’t keep accurate records.

      The only spin I see is 2 lawyers and their big-campaign–donor-appointed-solicitor dancing around with our tax dollars and giving us all the middle finger. Game is over boys this town deserves better.

  77. Thanks for the comment, commissioner D. Just your political spin, not mine.

    Bonnie is helpful. I haven’t heard back from her relating to this.

    I sued the Clerk because she is the official responsible for all OPRA requests and as a result under the law is the person to sue. As a lawyer, you should know that rather than creating a fictitious spin. And relating to the law about recordings, the first court case came out AFTER she was out of office about this issue. So, it was under the current commissioners’ watch that the law was not proactively changed to fix what the courts had ruled. I brought it up at at least one meeting and the commissioners did nothing to follow the law.

  78. sounds like the outcome was good for all involved.

    • except for the town whihc will pay legal fees for Tom’s folly

      • The commissioners should take responsibility for their actions.

      • How exactly is it Tom’s folly?
        He stood up and asked nicely for over a year for access to public documents and they wouldn’t do it.
        Only option left is to go to court, and court said he was right.

        Randy and Paul should pay for the fees, not the town.
        The folly was Randy, Paul, and their campaign-donor-appointed solicitor Klineburger

  79. I have a question. I saw that the Solicitor Klineberger is going through the process for an state appointment doing special investigations and prosecutions for “conflict” and corruption matters. He will be paid $190 per hour for this including travel time throughout the state. Is he allowed to be the Solicitor and a special prosecutor at the same time? What if there needs to be an investigation into Haddon Township, who does it?

    • Where did you see this? He only charges Haddon Township $130/hr. I would assume that he wouldn’t be the only attorney in the state doing this and he would be required to clear conflicts.

  80. I work in Trenton and saw his name on a list for clearance interviews posted outside of where the AG office is located. Noramlly a final step/formality. looks like it went in last week by the Gov office before the swearing in. Not a common name and had his office address listed as Haddonfield

  81. It is interesting that Mr. K will not even admit his office is in Haddon Township NJ. Interesting! Went on the list last week BEFORE the swearing in. I do hope more info can be posted on “where in the state is Mr. K?” – I do love to follow the issues of this community.

  82. to be fair, I looked it up online, his office isn’t in Haddon Township, it is and has been in Haddonfield for 14 years, according to tax records he purchased his building there 4 years ago for $1.3 million. He also did get the appointment from the state at $190 ph. Seems funny that right after he gets this more lucrative position with the state whihc will require him to send in his hours worked that he is quietly moved to special counsel at the meeting instead of solicitor. Dont you think Randy and Paul talked about this with him beforehand? Seems to convenient to be a coincidence.

  83. Wow, Rich get richer and our taxes go up….

  84. Good one Molly!

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