In 1976, there was no such thing as e-mail, the “inter-webs”, Facebook, texting or Twitter—when the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) was enacted by the New Jersey legislature. But don’t tell that to the Evesham council members who broke the law by carrying on an e-mail discussion about a proposed ordinance.
Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi found that council members and other town officials, (including solicitor John Gillespie), “inadvertently convened” a meeting with at least 14 messages sent during a 20-hour period that amounted to an “ongoing dialogue” taking place “in almost real time,” —-with some e-mails just a few minutes apart.
OPMA makes sure that the People are aware of the People’s business—whether done in person or virtually over the internet. Thanks, County Prosecutor Bernardi for keeping things honest and open in Burlington. You can see the NJ Law Review article here.