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by New Jersey Assembly Democrats
An Assembly panel approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Annette Quijano, Daniel Benson, Eric Houghtaling, Joann Downey and Andrew Zwicker that would bar public entities from entering into confidential settlements of whistleblower lawsuits with public employees and mandate that such settlements are part of open public records.
McKeon first introduced the bill last session in response to the settlement reached with former Hunterdon County Assistant Prosecutor Bennett Barlyn. Barlyn filed a lawsuit against the state in 2012 alleging he had been fired in 2010 after complaining to a superior that an indictment brought against the then-Hunterdon County sheriff and others by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office had been dismissed by then Attorney General Paula Dow for political reasons.
In October 2016, it was reported that the lawsuit was settled for $…