Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi
Revelry Tax — A proposed law would put a price tag on the havoc sometimes wreaked by reality TV shows filmed in New Jersey shore communities.
The “Snookiville Law,” named for notoriously bawdy “Jersey Shore” cast member Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, would require a license to produce or film reality shows in public locations or places of public accommodation within a municipality.
A-3273 would amend N.J.S.A. 40:52-1, which authorizes municipalities to license hotels, auto dealerships and other operations. Towns could write in conditions requiring film companies or local businesses hosting them to pay for extra police. Licenses could be revoked if public drunkenness or debauchery should erupt.
The sponsor, Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, R-Ocean, who was Plumsted’s mayor for 22 years, says he’s had positive feedback from fellow lawmakers about the bill, which he says would protect licensees from legal challenges by people trying keep the cameras out of town.
The N.J. League of Municipalities has taken no stand yet, but “most likely we would support it,” executive director William Dressel says.
More on His Plate — Atlantic County Surrogate James Curcio, who is waiting to hear whether he will be sanctioned for heading up a political fundraiser, has other legal woes.
Curcio pleaded guilty last Monday to DWI and refusal charges in Wildwood. He was stopped on Route 30 in Mullica Hill on April 27 when an officer observed him failing to stay in his lane. At the police station, he refused to take a breath test.
As a second offender (he pleaded to a DWI in 2010), Curcio had his license suspended for two years and was fined $1,250 and sentenced to 48 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, said Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor James McClain.
Curcio’s attorney, Ocean City solo John Tumelty, says his client decided not to take advantage of the Appellate Division’s ruling in State v. O’Driscoll, now on appeal, which upended a refusal conviction because the officer read from outdated material that understated the refusal penalty.
“He just wanted to accept responsibility for both tickets and move on with his life,” Tumelty says.
Says Curcio, “I need to make amends and rebuild people’s confidence in me.”
In August, the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct alleged that Curcio violated judicial canons by acting as host committee chairman for a $100-a-plate fundraiser for GOP Assembly candidate Chris Brown. Curcio denied that his actions violated the canons or a rule against judges’ partisan activity.
Arguments To Go — While the U.S. Supreme Court continues to shroud its oral arguments from intrusive cameras, New Jersey Supreme Court sessions are becoming so open to the public they’re downright hard to avoid.
Since 2005, the court has streamed live webcasts of its oral arguments on the judiciary website, where the recordings are archived for 30 days. Now, those recordings can be viewed in MP4 format using any smartphone or other mobile device. The link is http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/webcast/mp4_archive.htm.
Until the format change, viewing archived sessions required Windows Media Player, which is not generally installed on smartphones. But the beauty of MP4s is that they require no special software application to run on any personal digital assistant.
The new access “is part of the Judiciary’s effort to promote greater understanding of the operation of the courts through technology,” says Glenn Grant, acting administrative director of the courts. “Allowing today’s busy students, professionals and the members of the public to download these webcasts on any PDA promotes a better understanding of the courts.”
Webcasts over 30 days old are not available in MP4 format but can be viewed in Windows Media Player on the Rutgers Newark Law School website, http://njlegallib.rutgers.edu/supct/.
Going Viral — There was no love lost between Agnes Sagrati and her sister-in-law, Ann Armahizer. Sagrati claimed Armahizer called her a “fat whale” and other nasty names in Yahoo! messages and had a restraining order against her.
But Sagrati, of South Bound Brook, went too far when she had Armahizer’s address, Social Security number, bank account information, pay stubs, children’s names and other sensitive information posted online, a state appeals court said last Monday.
Armahizer went to the police in 2005, when she found her personal data on several sites, including “littlebluelight,” which the appeals court said gave directions on how to hack into people’s bank accounts. She suspected her husband Joe, Sagrati’s brother, who was living with Sagrati and had access to Armahizer’s data through papers filed in the couple’s divorce.
Sagrati told police she tried to get even with Armahizer by emailing her information to “some guy” she found on the Internet who said he would “jam up” Armahizer’s computer. But at trial, she disavowed the statement as the result of police pressure and medications, while the prosecution contended that Sagrati herself posted the data to expose Armahizer to scams.
Sagrati was found guilty of trafficking in personal identifying information and sentenced to two years’ probation. The Appellate Division upheld the conviction.
Deputy Attorney General Kenneth Burden says “this kind of thing is becoming more of a problem.” Sagrati’s lawyer, Lambertville solo Kevin Byrnes, did not return a call.
— By David Gialanella, Michael Booth, Charles Toutant and Mary Pat Gallagher