Opposition researcher Christopher Lyon wants to know why Senate President Dick Codey was informed that Lyon put in an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request for his financial disclosure forms.
In a letter to Office of Legislative Services Executive Director Al Porroni dated today, Lyon wrote that he was “surprised to learn that the Office of Legislative Services notified Senator Codey of my request.”
“I have reviewed the Open Public Records Act and see no provision authorizing the release of my request. As such, I am left to conclude that the decision to notify Senator Codey of my request was for no other purpose than to provide him an opportunity to impede my access to these ‘public records,’” wrote Lyon. “This conclusion is supported by the press release from Senator Codey suggesting that my request for ‘public records’ was improper or for some nefarious purpose while making false and defamatory statements about me and my past work. Senator Codey’s intemperate screed seems to have been directed towards a singular purpose, to chill access to ‘public records.’”
Lyon is a well-known opposition researcher for Republican candidates all over the country, but Codey yesterday accused South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross of hiring him to help Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney’s intra-party campaign for the senate presidency. Norcross denied the allegation yesterday, calling it “bizarre and delusional.”
Although financial disclosure forms for legislators are available online through 2004, Lyon’s request included preceding years.
In his letter, Lyon went on to request copies of correspondence between Porroni’s office and Codey “or anyone acting on Senator Codey’s behalf with respect to my request for public records.”
“I demand to know the support for your decision to notify Senator Codey of my request,” he wrote.
Porroni could not immediately be reached for comment.