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Open Government Advocacy Project:
Murdered teen's family sue Lawnside Borough
 

Issue Detail:

 
On April 8, 2011, the family of Sergio Rivera sued the Borough of Lawnside (Camden County) after Sergio was fatally shot on April 13, 2009 at the Wayne R. Bryant Community Center. In her lawsuit, Lissette Rivera, Sergio's mother, claimed that Lawnside officials were negligent for allowing a "young unruly crowd" to congregate at the center on the night of her son's shooting. The suit was filed by Marlton attorney Timothy J. McNamara of Stark & Stark. It is 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. For more information on the Libertarian Party, go to http://www.njlp.org. As part of my work, I routinely check civil court cases where at least one of the parties is a government agency or official. Most often, these cases aren't written about in the newspapers or publicly discussed during municipal council meetings. Therefore, taxpayers usually aren't aware of them. But, these cases often end up in settlement, paid for with taxpayer dollars, and almost always result in taxpayers, or the municipal government's insurer, footing the bill for the lawsuit. I don't express any opinion on whether or not the suit is valid--I just think that the taxpayers ought to be aware of how their money is being spent. For those interested, please visit the Libertarian Party's blog at http://njcivilsettlements.blogspot.com where I report on settlements that are reached in such lawsuits. John Paff, Project Chairman

 

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