Kostoplis’ Bordentown Fire District Hiding Open Records, Hit with Lawsuit in Superior Court

Complaint filed against Fire District #2 and Custodian of Records for failure to produce documents related to homeowner insurance rates

For Immediate Release
Contact: Chris Russell

Mount Holly, September 26, 2016 – Bordentown Township Fire District #2, where Jim Kostoplis is Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, and their Custodian of Records (Sal Schiano), were sued today in Superior Court for violating New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and failing to provide full transparency to the public regarding the reasons behind skyrocketing homeowner insurance rates in a section of Bordentown Township.

Read the full complaint here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-qDciY9s9hvX0ZMMThtbnNpOFU

The complaint centers Bordentown Fire District #2’s refusing to turn over all available public information related to the retrogression in their rating from Insurance Services Office (ISO) and the negative impact that rating change has had on homeowner insurance costs. ISO is an independent agency that evaluates municipal fire departments with regard to their fire prevention and fire suppression capabilities. The criteria are utilized by insurance companies in the underwriting process to analyze risk and establish insurance premiums for residential and commercial property insurance.

“It doesn’t take a genius to see that the political insiders in Bordentown are circling the wagons around Jim Kostoplis and are apparently trying to conceal information that could damage his credibility and devastate his campaign for Sheriff,” said Chris Russell, spokesman for the Burlington County Republican Committee. Joshua Foote, Executive Director of the BCRC failed the OPRA lawsuit.

“Mr. Kostoplis’ incompetence and mismanagement, in his capacity as Director of the Bordentown District #2 Board of Fire Commissioner, resulted in Bordentown residents in Fire District #2 being hit with homeowner insurance rate increases up to 60% or more. One resident privately informed us that their bill increased by $1,300 in a single year due to the ISO rating change on Mr. Kostoplis watch. The full public is entitled to know how many other homeowners saw massive spikes in their homeowner insurance rates and the full scope of Mr. Kostoplis culpability for those rate increases. He wants to run the County Sheriff’s Department, but at this point evidence suggests he can’t even run a small town fire department without completely screwing it up to detriment of his constituents,” added Russell.

“Mr. Foote was forced to file the lawsuit after it became clear that Mr. Kostoplis and his allies were willing to dodge, delay, duck and make excuses all the way through Election Day in order to run out the clock and keep this information away from the public,” said Russell. “We are hopeful that the court will intervene and ensure full transparency on this matter so the residents of Bordentown Township and voters countywide know all the facts.”