McKeon: Christie Administration Failure to Produce Exxon Documents Displays Lack of Transparency

Assemblyman Plans to File OPRA Request for Demand Letters, Damage Summaries & Expert Reports

Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex/Morris), Assembly Judiciary Committee chair and Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee vice-chair, issued the following statement Friday after Christie administration officials failed to honor his request for summaries of the environmental damage sustained at 16 Exxon Mobil Corp. facilities subject to a proposed $225 million settlement with the company, copies of 12 expert reports submitted by both the state and Exxon at trial and demand letters for all natural resources damage litigation initiated by the state since 2004:

“The fact that we now must file a formal request under the Open Public Records Act to obtain basic information brings forth serious concerns about the reasons for this evasiveness.

“The administration has skirted its responsibility to provide the people with the documents they need in order to make informed decisions as we move forward.

“With just five weeks remaining in the public comment period on the Exxon settlement, the people of New Jersey and the legislature need the Christie administration to act with far more urgency in producing critical documents related to this matter. One would expect better than a cat-and-mouse game from an administration that began with such a vocal commitment to ushering in ‘a new era of accountability and transparency.'”