When U.S. 1’s Dan Aubrey reported on the long saga of whistleblower and former county prosecutor Ben Barlyn in our October 5, 2016, issue, Barlyn was able to speak candidly about the circumstances leading up to his firing. Those circumstances included details of criminal case Barlyn was building against a Hunterdon County sheriff and two of her deputies and the Christie’s administration dismissal of a criminal indictment because it involved supporters of the governor.

But Barlyn was not able to discuss all the details of the case because the settlement, which included a $1.5 million payment to Barlyn and some $3.8 million in legal fees, banned discussion of certain details.

This week the New Jersey Assembly’s judiciary committee approved a bill that would prohibit public entities entering settlements of whistleblower lawsuits from keeping those deals confidential. “It’s disturbing that someone who uses the whistleblower law to truthfully speak out against wrongdoing can then be stifled when the matter is resolved,” sponsor John McKeon said. “The public’s interest and their right to know about potential corruption must take priority over everything else.”

What’s still inside those sealed documents? Barlyn still can’t say but he did tell a reporter from NJ.com: “If my allegation is correct, multiple state crimes were committed by this administration.”

#b#To the Editor: Another Way to Save the Choir College#/b#

Why can’t some kind of jointly operated music school be developed with Princeton University? Why not a newly contoured school where students are chosen for admission based on their musical abilities, while the degrees they receive come from either Rider or Princeton, depending on where they are matriculating. Westminster Choir College is too wonderful a place just to let it slip down the drain. It is the crown jewel of choral music schools.

There is at least one precedent for organizing a university institution so that it is shared, and so that the degrees given are granted specifically by the participating institutions. Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) has its own campus in Indianapolis, and is jointly operated by Indiana University and Purdue University. See www.iupui.edu. My husband was once an adjunct professor there teaching Classical Studies.

With both Indiana U and Purdue operating in Indianapolis, IUPUI was formed in 1968 after then Mayor Richard Lugar called for a single state university in Indianapolis. When we were there, degrees granted in the humanities carried the name of Indiana University on the diplomas. Science diplomas bore the name of Purdue.

So let’s look at Westminster Choir College with new eyes and a new creative solution that can enhance the choral offerings and prestige of several institutions.

Kip Cherry


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