"It should be easy to get more information about the Miller case," Lowry wrote. "Yet for weeks now, we have been stonewalled and given the runaround by everyone we've asked for help in obtaining the relevant police records."
National Review first filed its records request to the Newark police Aug. 15, but has not received the police report it has sought despite follow-up requests to the police and, on Aug. 22, a request to the city clerk, according to an editor looking into the story.
Lowry wrote that the magazine began examining the Miller story after questions arose around another common Booker tale, about a drug dealer named T-Bone.
Booker campaign spokesman Kevin Griffis responded: "This is a stunt by a partisan journal and had it cared to talk to people connected to the case and actually called the mayor's office to learn the facts about it, they would have been put in touch with people who worked on the case."
Booker's city spokesman, James Allen, said that the clerk was independent from the mayor's office and that the records were not available electronically, so they had to be found manually in the police archives.
"The clerk notified the National Review that they anticipated a response on or before Sept. 13 and did not receive an objection," Allen wrote in an e-mail. "Officials at the police department searched extensively and located hard copies of the incident report. The clerk has indicated that the National Review will receive the records on Thursday, prior to the deadline."
Allen also e-mailed a statement attributed to Anthony Ambrose, Essex County chief of detectives and former Newark police director, backing up Booker's story.
"I remember that Cory was wearing jogging pants and a sweatshirt and that he had blood all over his hand and on his arm. The people at the scene said he rendered aid to the victim, and I recall him staying by the victim's side until he was transported to the hospital," said Ambrose, who was the city's police director at the time of the incident.
An Aug. 30 letter from the city clerk to National Review requested an extension of the normal seven business days to respond to a New Jersey open records request.
In its lawsuit, National Review says it did not agree to the extension, calling it "unreasonable, frivolous, improper, and intended to hinder." The suit also argues that the defendants "acted in bad faith" by "stringing along" media editor Eliana Johnson and delaying her request for information.
Johnson said she filed her initial request for the police report Aug. 15 and was bounced among three police department contacts. She then faxed two requests, she said, but neither request produced the report she sought. On Aug. 22, she filed a request with the city clerk, but in early September received a letter telling her that after a "preliminary search . . . thus far we have not yielded any results."
The suit was filed in Superior Court in Essex County.
Lonegan also has sued the city clerk over his campaign's request for records. Lonegan also argued that his requests for public information were not fulfilled.
Contact Jonathan Tamari at phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @JonathanTamari. Read his blog, "Capitol Inq," at www.inquirer.com/CapitolInq.