Caught On Tape: Builders Vs. Towns

A builder hired private investigators to go undercover, gain trust, and secretly tape city officlals for two years.
March 31, 2003, 2pm PST | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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"In the high-stakes war between builders and towns, developers often accuse local officials of going to questionable lengths to stop projects. Towns complain builders use high-priced lawyers to pummel them into submission. "Now, both sides say they have proof of mistreatment by the other. In what has to be one of the most bizarre eco-spats, one side has caught the other on tape. "Frustrated by years of what he considered prejudicial treatment by Readington Township officials, builder Mark Hartman hired private investigators to go undercover. Posing as environmentalists, the husband-and-wife team gained the trust of the mayor and township committee and secretly taped officials for more than two years. "The sting, characterized by township officials as an unscrupulous and unsuccessful attempt at entrapment, provides insight into how far both sides will go to gain legal advantage."

Thanks to David J. Hojsak

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Published on Sunday, March 30, 2003 in The Star-Ledger
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