FREEHOLD-Gavin Rozzi, developer of “OpraMachine.Com“, an online website that puts public records at the fingertips of everyday citizens who might find New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act confusing and daunting. Rozzi’s website streamlines the OPRA process for ordinary people to quickly and conveniently request and receive public records they seek. Additionally, it creates an online archive of those requests, further limiting the burden of government clerks across the state who may find themselves fielding multiple identical requests at times.
Rozzi told Freeholder Director Tom Arnone, “Opramachine.com is a service that is used by attorneys, businesses and other stakeholders from the public in order to ensure that they are able to access government records that are maintained or kept on file by government agencies.”
Rozzi said the county’s actions against the public was a blatant attack against the people of Monmouth County and said because the county erroneously released confidential information to OpraMachine.com, but it was of no fault of Rozzi or his website. Once contacted by the county of the error, Rozzi said he immediately made sure the information was removed, although he was under no legal requirement to do so.
The freeholder board admitted their confusion of the internet and technology and how it is being used to request public information. “We published information of our employees and that is tragic,” board attorney Michael D. Fitzgerald said.
The county said an honest mistake was made, but despite a court decision, still blamed Rozzi and Opramachine.com for the public posting of the information.
“People make mistakes, that does happen,” Fitzgerald said and worried that OpraMachine.com will eventually morph into a commercial service, which also has no bearing on OPRA laws or the court case.
“This is not my first time at the rodeo,” Rozzi told Fitzgerald after the Fitzgerald said the county intended to appeal the judge’s decision. “That’s just going to be an additional waste of county resources, limited resources that would be better served put into investing in county programs and putting up a smoke screen to violate the laws even further.”
Rozzi accepted Fitzgerald’s challenge and said he was confident the law will side with him, but added that it would be a foolish action that will do nothing but waste taxpayer money.
He added that the county suffers from ignorance of technology and explained his technology to the board.
“I am extremely disappointed by the lack of professionalism and acts of bad faith by the county on this matter,” Rozzi told the board. “If you intend to appeal, we’ll take this as far as it needs to even if we have to go to the Supreme Court.”
“All the stuff you said, I’m not discounting or disputing, because quite frankly, I don’t understand any of it,” Freeholder Director Arnone said. “And I don’t want to.”