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Open Government Advocacy Project:
Stratford Court Clerk fired for failing to promptly deposit funds

Issue Detail:

According to John D. Keenan, Jr., Clerk of the Borough of Stratford Camden County), Alyson Heriegel, Stratford's Municipal Court Administrator, was terminated from her position after a Borough hearing on Monday, June 28, 2010. In response to my Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request, the Borough disclosed a "Preliminary Notice of Disciplinary Action," dated March 5, 2010, charging Heriegel with violating "guidelines and procedures in the handling of funds received by the Municipal Court Office." Specifically, Heriegel, after being audited by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), was found to have violated a law that requires all municipal court funds to be deposited in the bank within forty-eight hours of receipt. The AOC audit found that Heriegel: a) did not deposit $400 received on January 25, 2010 until February 4, 2010; b) accepted $10 in cash on May 27, 2009 that was never "receipted into the [court's computer] system as a miscellaneous payment"; and c) accepted $15 in cash on September 9, 2010 that was also not properly receipted into the system. Heriegel may still appeal her termination but has not yet done so. The "Preliminary Notice of Disciplinary Action" and Clerk Keenan's e-mail are on-line here. ABOUT ME AND WHY I'M POSTING THIS. I chair the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project which seeks to increase governmental transparency and accountability, particularly at a local level. As part of my work, I routinely look for disciplinary matters involving public employees. Most often, the public does not get to see these records. I post them on-line for several reasons: a) because they sometimes reveal official wrongdoing by a government employee, b) because they sometimes suggest that a government agency is using the disciplinary process to retaliate (i.e. file trumped up charges) against an politically or otherwise unpopular employee and c) because disciplinary charges cost public money and the taxpayers ought to be aware of how their money is being spent. For more information on the Libertarian Party, go to http://www.njlp.org For similar postings on other government officials, see my blog. http://njpublicemployeediscipline.blogspot.com/ John Paff Somerset, New Jersey




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