O’DONNELL RELEASES STATEMENT ON $1.5 MILLION SETTLEMENT; CALLS FOR TRANSPARENCY FROM DAVIS ADMINISTRATION
BAYONNE – Bayonne mayoral candidate Jason O’Donnell today released the following statement calling for transparency and accountability from the Davis Administration and joining the Jersey Journal in their call to “bring the sunshine back into joint insurance funds.” In an editorial on their website, the Jersey Journal celebrated the fact that, after multiple court challenges, they were finally able to get the details of the city’s $1.5 million lawsuit settlement in the Brandon Walsh case. The editorial can be found here:http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/03/settlement_agreements_involving_public_entities_mu.html
“I would like to extend my thanks to the Jersey Journal for taking a stand on behalf of every Bayonne taxpayer against the Davis Administration in the name of transparency and accountability.
Unfortunately, our campaign has run into the same tactics experienced by the Jersey Journal and other media outlets in response to our simple requests for information submitted to the Davis Administration about taxpayer money. Whether it be requests to find out how much settlement money taxpayers are on the hook for or basic information on the sweetheart tax deals given to their developer friends, the Davis Administration appears to view the Open Public Records Act as an arbitrary process.
The fact is, OPRA wasn’t created so that shady politicians could pick and choose what they deemed the public can see and what they can’t and we would all benefit from more openness and transparency from our city government.
Unfortunately, our mayor is becoming very well-known for blaming others for his reprehensible actions, so his decision to place the blame on the Joint Insurance Fund in this matter is par for the course. No matter who Jimmy Davis may be attempting to hide behind for this latest episode, today’s editorial is correct, ‘It’s unconscionable that a public entity spent thousands of dollars to hide the truth from voters.’ Taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill to fight the release of information that would be beneficial to us all and joint insurance funds need to be forced into a higher standard of transparency than what currently exists.
With so many unanswered questions surrounding the tax breaks for his rich special interest friends and the specter of a sexual harassment suit that could cost taxpayers additional millions, the time for transparency on how our money is being spent is long past due.”