In September, editors from Collingswood Patch and The Retrospect news outlets filed Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests to see the taxpayer-funded "Borden Report," which examines McLoughlin's claims of bias in the school district.
The $10,000, BOE-commissioned report was conducted by former Haddonfield borough commissioner Edward Borden of the law firm Earp Cohn.
But media requests for access to the report have been blocked by McLoughlin's attorney, Katherine Hartman, on the grounds that its contents "constitute discrimination protected under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination," according to a letter she sent to BOE Solicitor Joseph Betley on September 17.
This week, Betley filed a Superior Court request for a declaratory judgment in the matter.
But in efforts to protect the school district from additional liability, Betley also filed suit against Collingswood Patch and Retrospect editor Mark Swanson for seeking access to the Borden Report.
In short, Betley argues, releasing the report could get the BOE sued by McLoughlin's attorneys; not releasing the report could subject the BOE to a suit for suppressing public information under OPRA.
"It is the position of the Collingswood BOE that the Borden Report is subject to disclosure under OPRA and the common law," the complaint notes, adding that the BOE "is ready and willing to release the Borden Report to the individuals that have filed an OPRA and common law request.
"However, the stated objection by Mr. McLoughlin to releasing the Borden Report exposes the Collingswood BOE to potential litigation and damages.
"Additionally, a failure to release the Borden Report to the requestors also subjects the Collingswood BOE to litigation and attorney fees payable to the requestors," the complaint notes.
Betley's complaint states that the report was completed on June 27, 2013, and has been shared with the Board as well as with McLoughlin and his attorneys.
On August 1, McLoughlin filed suit against the Collingswood school district, Superintendent Scott Oswald, Collingswood High School Principal Edward Hill and Athletic Director Ronald Hamrick in New Jersey Superior Court.
The former coach claims he was not asked to return to the team "as a direct result of his objection to racist practices and acts."