N.J. governor loses fight to keep e-mails with ex-girlfriend private

Miranda Fleschert | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | June 2, 2008

More than 700 pages of e-mails messages between New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and his former girlfriend, labor union leader Carla Katz, are to be released to the public within two weeks, a judge ruled Friday.

But the Attorney General’s Office plans to challenge Superior Court Judge Paul Innes’ ruling, arguing both that the e-mail messages are private correspondence, and that they are protected by executive privilege.

The judge concluded that only 55 pages should remain confidential. Katz represents more than 10,000 state employees as the president of New Jersey’s largest public-employees union, Communications Workers of America Local 1034. Corzine and Katz exchanged the e-mail messages in question during negotiations of a new contract for CWA, between 2006 and 2007. The two have not dated since 2004.

"The public has a right to know whether the relationship between the governor and Ms. Katz had any improper influence or effect on the governor's paramount obligation to serve the interest of the citizens of New Jersey first," wrote Innes in his decision.