In an unpublished decision released on February 4th, the Appellate Division cautioned that municipal officials who also sit on boards of the same municipality should minimize any ex parte communications with potential applicants before their board, and be careful not to discuss the merits of any potential application ex parte. Here, the court remanded the case to the trial level for further testimony regarding the nature and extent of the conversations at issue, but proclaimed that they, "cannot overstate how essential it is to the integrity of local governments that public officials who serve on municipal boards abstain from ex parte communications pertaining to matters before them and insulate themselves from any outside influences." (Lars Sternas v. DMH2, LLC, et. al.)
Peter J. Vazquez, Jr.