Three OPRA requests, by Sen. Weinberg, Sen Buono, and Asbury Park Press, have not yet elicited a response. Each might answer a fundamental question regarding actions of the governor and his staff.
Sen. Buono’s request deals with the cause of a flubbed response to a question that might have made the difference in the RTTT grant between being funded and not funded. Former Education Commissioner Schundler said he made a mistake in requesting that data for 2010 be substituted for the requested data for an earlier period. It also appears that the contractor Wireless Generation was aware of the error. An unanswered question is whether the Executive Office played a role in the matter. Sen. Buono said she plans to seek authority to issue subpoenas on Monday, and she has an RTTT hearing scheduled for Thursday.
Sen. Weinberg’s request deals with reconciling whether there are extra funds in an apparently overfunded line item paying for the prescription program for public employees that could be used to replace $7.5 million for women’s health. The Office of Legislative Services said there are, whereas, Treasurer Sidamon-Eristoff said that there are not, and he refused to testify before the legislature on the matter. The key unanswered question is whether OLS is indeed accurate, which would further bolster Sen. Weinberg’s efforts to override the governor’s veto. The override vote is scheduled for Monday as well a rally in Trenton to support the effort.
The Asbury Park Press’ request deals with documents on the firing of Schundler. The governor stated that Schundler had told him he had offered to provide improper revised information to the RTTT reviewers. Schundler said he had not done so and warned the governor verbally and in emails not to make this claim. Nonetheless, the governor later said he was lied to by Schundler, and he fired Schundler. An unanwered question is whether the governor told the truth in this matter. This issue might also be explored during Thursday’s RTTT hearings.