A judge has ordered the City of Jersey City to pay Kushner Companies nearly $99,000 in attorneys’ fees over an Open Public Records Act request lawsuit separate from a federal case that was dismissed on Wednesday.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The high degree of success, performance, and professionalism compel the court to grant the motion, and award Attorneys’ Fees requested,” Hudson County Superior Court Judge Joseph Isabella ruled on August 2nd.
“Defendants shall pay to Plaintiffs the amount of $98,756.60 for their attorneys’ fees and costs incurred after January 22, 2019 in connection with this OPRA action.”
Back a May, the court granted a motion that awarded Kushner Cos. $95,850 for the same reason and the more recent action led to some taunting from the plaintiffs.
“Mayor Fulop’s complete disregard of the court order to disclose his emails has cost Jersey City taxpayers approximately $200,000 to date. Fulop’s celebration is premature. The case against Jersey City is far from over,” a company spokesman said in a statement.
However, Jersey City spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said that the suit hasn’t actually cost taxpayers anything to date since the city has not paid them anything yet in the ongoing litigation.
“To date, the Kushners have not received a nickel from Jersey City, and we don’t expect that to change. Just as the federal court threw out the heart of their case at Journal Square, we expect the remainder of their cases to meet the same fate,” she said.
On Wednesday, a federal court judge dismissed a suit from Kushner Cos. that alleged their one One Journal Square project due to anti-Trump politics, though they 30 days to file an amended complaint, as HCV first reported.
Jared Kushner was the president of Kushner Cos. before stepping down to serve as President Donald Trump’s senior advisor (he is also his son-in-law).
Meanwhile, the superior court case in question is over 5,500 emails from Mayor Steven Fulop regarding dozens of tax abatements over a four-year time frame.
Kushner Cos. has currently only received 12 of the 5,500 emails and the city currently has a Monday deadline to hand over the rest of them.
While Isabella’s ruling was made last Friday, it was not made publicly available until this Friday, August 9th.