Bruce S. Rosen, a MARC partner, said on Aug. 27 and 28 that Newark officials did not seem to have a basis for excluding reporters and TV cameras from a meeting at City Hall about replacing lead service lines.
The city had issued a press release inviting residents to an Aug. 27 about the Lead Service Line Replacement Program, in the wake of the city’s water crisis.
But when reporters arrived at the event, they were told that only residents would be admitted, according to a broadcast on New Jersey Public Television (NJPTV) and a story on tapinto.com.
Bruce, who handles First Amendment issues, was quoted as saying, “I don’t see what basis they have for not allowing the media in. If it’s open to the public, it’s open to everyone. They cannot be selective about it.”
In early August, testing showed some filters were insufficiently removing lead from the city’s water. The city began distributing bottled water and announced a $120 million plan to replace old service pipes. The City Hall meeting at issue was about participation in that program.