ACLU suing Newark over transparency in Facebook founder’s $100M donation to city schools

Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 1:32 PM
By David Giambusso/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — A battle over transparency surrounding Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million donation to Newark schools will now be decided in court.

In a motion filed just after noon today in Superior Court of Newark, the ACLU of New Jersey announced it is suing Newark, accusing the city of violating numerous OPRA regulations and demanding the release of all correspondence between Zuckerberg, Booker, Gov. Chris Christie, and Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf surrounding the September 2010 donation.

The Secondary Parent Council, a 30-year old parent and grandparent advocacy group in Newark, filed an Open Public Records request on April 5, requesting all letters, emails and memos between Booker, Zuckerberg and Christie regarding the donation and its potential uses. The two-page request also lists almost every government official who could have weighed in on the donation including Cerf, former education commissioner Bret Schundler, deputy commissioner Rochelle Hendricks, the Newark City Council and members of the state legislature.