NJ Transit’s methods for settling personal-injury lawsuits and other legal claims against it, as well as managing its insurance program, have come under fire. According to reporting by Karen Rouse of The Record and reported in the Star-Ledger (Sept. 12), the railroad has not voted in public on such issues in years. The votes apparently come behind closed doors, despite NJT’s stated goal of transparent operations. Millions of dollars in expenditures are involved.
The secret votes do not appear in publicly posted minutes, but The Record obtained them through a public-records request. Even these records obtained were heavily redacted; the amounts involved were often blacked out. Previously, NJT came under fire for keeping its rail hurricane plan from the public, initially releasing only a blacked-out document. The actual document was released only after The Record filed a lawsuit to obtain it. Commenting on the reports of excessive secrecy, an NJT spokesperson said that the agency had recently updated procedures for closed-door sessions, but declined to be specific.