Thursday, January 31, 2013
Township Officials Confirm Smith v. Galloway Twp Agreement was Released to Media Without Formal Council Approval
GallowayTwpNews.com has obtained through an Open Public Records Request the Settlement and Release agreement pertaining to the Jody Smith v. Galloway Township et al. litigation. The agreement was already released to Galloway Township Patch Editor Anthony Bellano in response to an OPRA Request he filed.
GalowayTwpNews.com reviewed the agreement and previous agenda's and determined the Township did not vote on the agreement, nor did Mayor Don Purdy execute said agreement released by Township Clerk Thalia "TC" Kay today.
Councilman Jim McElwee confirmed the settlement agreement has not been formally presented to Council for a vote.
Mayor Don Purdy confirmed same and added the terms also have not been fully presented to Council. Purdy declined further comment since the litigation has yet to be settled.
Request for comment by Township Manager Arch Liston as to whether the Township will recall the released documents went unanswered at the time of publication.
Kay did state in an email that "the Resolution is on the agenda for Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 6:30 p.m." We requested explanation from Township Clerk TC Kay as to how an agreement that has not been approved by Council could be released. We did not receive a response from Kay on that questions by time of publication.
Sebastian Ionno, Esq, who represents Jody Smith was reached for comment, however declined to answer questions due to the confidentiality of the pending settlement. Ionno was provided with a copy of GallowayTwpNews.com OPRA Request and email correspondence in reference to the release of the agreement.
Due to the fact the agreement and terms have yet to be formally discussed by Galloway Township Council and in our opinion, should not have been released by the Township, GallowayTwpNews.com will not be releasing the agreement nor the terms of the agreement until formally reviewed and approved by Council.