State Attorney General Paula Dow has created new rules that will keep records of any State Police overtime pay confidential, blocking their access to the public.
NJ.com reports that Dow’s rule applies to law enforcement officers under the Department of Law and Public Safety, but total overtime figures for the departments will still be available. The measure does not apply to local police departments.
According to the Asbury Park Press, a Superior Court ruling from 2005 said that the records could be used to determine patrolmen’s assignments, like Homeland Security, undercover cases and the Executive Protection Unit. State Police overtime records had actually been shown on a state website from Gov. Chris Christie’s administration designed to promote government transparency and to use for open public records requests for state employees salary numbers.
The website, called Christie’s "Transparency Center," will no longer post policemen’s salaries.
Supporters of open government said taxpayers have the right to track public spending. Ron Miskoff of the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government said, according to the Republic, "The public is paying the freight, and I don't see how knowing someone's overtime will put anyone in danger."
According to Montclair Patch, Dow will be stepping down as Attorney General at the end of the year. She will work as deputy general counsel for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and after that will be nominated to the New Jersey Superior Court in Essex County.