Corzine's ex says e-mails involved negotiations

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - September 25, 2008 A state appeals court is expected in November to hear a lawsuit filed by Republican Party leader Tom Wilson, who says the e-mails are public information.

In a legal brief filed Thursday, Carla Katz's lawyer Paul Fishman repeats her previous arguments that discussions about collective bargaining are exempt from public disclosure.

The brief argues that any other discussions were private matters - and exempt too.

Corzine and Katz are appealing a decision in which Superior Court Judge Paul Innes ruled that e-mails Corzine and his staff exchanged with Katz are public information.

The e-mails took place during state worker contract talks in 2006. Katz was head of the largest state workers union in the state until July, when the national union ousted her; Katz is suing in federal court over the removal.

Corzine has argued that the e-mails are covered by executive privilege - the right of governors to keep communications private so they can better conduct public business. He hasn't commented on what the e-mails were about but has insisted, "Bargaining was done at the bargaining table."

Corzine spokesman Sean Darcy declined to comment on the brief, referring questions to the state Attorney General's office, which is representing Corzine in the case. The Attorney General's office declined to comment on the brief Katz filed Thursday.

"The real loser here is the public who is being prevented from judging for themselves whether or not Jon Corzine was inappropriately influenced by his personal relationship with Carla Katz," Wilson said.

Katz gained attention during Corzine's successful 2005 gubernatorial run when it was revealed Corzine paid the mortgage on her house and gave her other gifts they have refused to disclose.

Katz dated Corzine from 2002 to 2004, when he was a U.S. senator. He became governor in January 2006.

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