Lawyers for the New Jersey American Civil Liberties Union chapter are challenging rules that deny the public access to State Police overtime records.

The ACLU is asking an appeals court to overturn the rules adopted by the state attorney general in December. The state claimed the information might reveal law enforcement officers' assignments and jeopardize their lives.

State ACLU legal director Ed Barocas tells The Star-Ledger of Newark the public has "an incredibly strong interest" in knowing how taxpayer dollars are spent. Barocas says the state must prove that withholding the information is in the public's interest.

The Attorney General's Office declined comment.

(The Associated Press 2012)