SPARTA, NJ- Arguments were heard on Dec 6 by Superior Court Judge Thomas Weisenbeck in the litigation brought by The Herald News and Jesse Wolosky against the Township of Sparta. The hearing over a denial of request for information took place at the Morristown Court House on Friday morning.
Both parties had separately filed a request under the Open Public Records Act to receive a copy of a complaint filed with the police department. The existence of the police report became public when a witness was called by the police to give a statement as to her understanding of an incident that occurred during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Sparta restaurant, Arthur's St Moritz- Beer Garden, on Sept 15.
In a ruling against Sparta, the judge ordered the police report in question to be made available to the public by Monday, Dec 9.
There have been many assumptions made about what is contained in the, hereto for restricted document. Some of the speculation is the result of the denial of the request itself. With the township claiming the rational for the denial is based on an exemption to OPRA that allows confidentiality to be attached to personnel records and the nearly simultaneous separation of the township manager David Troast, several have assumed the police report is connected to Troast's resignation.
The denial of the request for the report has meant that no information pertaining to the report has yet been made public. With this ruling much of the speculation can be supplanted with fact on Monday.