PSNJ, Ironbound Media

Howell Township,

This is a request for public records made under OPRA and the common law right of access. I am not required to fill out an official form. Please acknowledge receipt of this message.
Records requested:

On this date, December 20, 2018, Howell employee Besty Ryan began taking video of a citizen at the police records window who was requesting information and video recording the interaction. Betsy Ryan herself stated that she was recording the individual at the window. Any records made during the course of duty become a matter of public record, therefore we request:

All photos and/or video taken by police records attendant "Betsy Ryan" on this date December 20, 2018 with any and all recording devices, including any of her personal property such as her own phone, her own camera, or any other device used while in the course of her public duties.

Ironbound Media

PSNJ, Ironbound Media

Howell Township,

To update and clarify this request, the employee's name may be "Betsy Rine". Please excuse any error in the spelling of her name, but the employee in question may be seen in this video:

https://youtu.be/30Kx2uE6l-c

As you can see in the video at approximately the 8:00 minute mark, the employee is not only recording video, as she is pressing buttons on her screen and clearly states that she is recording. She is also then made aware of the law regarding public records and told not to delete the recording.
If this record has been deleted, this employee is guilty of New Jersey criminal statute 2C:28-7.3, Tampering with Public Records or Information, as is any other public employee or official who directed her to delete such records.

Please provide the public records created by this employee without delay. In such event that the record has been unlawfully destroyed, please provide the record of her criminal charges and court date.

Thank you.

Ironbound Media

Donna Belton, Howell Township

Donna Belton, Howell Township

Received and will be processed

show quoted sections

Angela Martino, Howell Township

Good Morning-

 

In response to the above referenced OPRA,  as per the Police Depart., this
record cannot be produced as it does not exist.  Although Ms. Rhein had
the intention of recording the interaction on her personal cellular
telephone, she has since advised that the device failed to record as
intended.

 

Hopefully this satisfies your request.  At this time I am closing out this
file.

 

Thank you,

Angela Martino

Howell Township

Clerk’s Office

NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIALITY
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recipient(s) is unauthorized. If you are not the intended recipient of
this message, any disclosure, copying, distribution or action taken or not
taken in reliance on it, without the expressed written consent of the
Township, is prohibited. If you have received this message in error, you
should not save, scan, transmit, print, use or disseminate this message or
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PSNJ, Ironbound Media

Angela Martino,

This file is NOT closed, because you have failed to do your job to the satisfaction of not only the public you serve, but of the law you are required to follow.

Your response to this request, claiming that the device did not record is a LIE. Either Ms. Rhein is lying, or you are lying. You can see in the video the when Ms. Rhein turns away from the window, there is an image taken on her device which recorded the interaction, either a still photo or a video.

When questioned at the time, Ms. Rhein stated she was in fact recording. Immediately after, her supervisor was questioned and stated that she was "bluffing" and did not record. Now you are stating that she had intended to record but the device failed. You all could at least get your stories straight if you are going to attempt to deceive the public and cover up a violation of the law.

Now, either these records exist and you are failing to provide them as required by law, OR Ms. Rhein has deleted the records from her personal device which is a crime. So which is it?

Either way. I suggest you and your fellow public employees at Howell Township cease your shameful and embarrassing actions. This is not the first time Howell Township has failed to follow the law in recent months, and you are digging yourselves deeper into another scandal. Please begin behaving honorably and with integrity. It would be a nice change from your current standard practices.

You have a second chance to provide the records as required by law. If you fail to do so, this matter will receive extensive public attention.

Thank you.

Ironbound Media

Angela Martino, Howell Township

1 Attachment

Good Afternoon-

Please see attached letter in response to your email of earlier today.

Thank you,
Angela Martino
Howell Township
Clerk's Office
Your message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:

18-1540response

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NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIALITY
This message, including any prior messages and attachments, may contain advisory, consultative and/or deliberative material, confidential information or privileged communications of the Township of Howell. Access to this message by anyone other than the sender and the intended recipient(s) is unauthorized. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, any disclosure, copying, distribution or action taken or not taken in reliance on it, without the expressed written consent of the Township, is prohibited. If you have received this message in error, you should not save, scan, transmit, print, use or disseminate this message or any information contained in this message in any way and you should promptly delete or destroy this message and all copies of it. Please notify the sender by return e-mail if you have received this message in error.

PSNJ, Ironbound Media

Angela Martino,

We are in receipt of your response.

Let it be clear we know you are lying, your statements are false, and your behavior is disgraceful. The continuing failure of duty and criminal acts of Howell Township public employees are not going unnoticed. You are servants of the public and you will be held accountable.

Shame on you.

Ironbound Media