James Kauffman wrote a note to his wife and attorney before taking his life inside a Hudson County Jail cell last month.
A request for a copy of the suicide note was denied Monday, after more than a week of legal review of an Open Public Records Act request by BreakingAC.
“Unfortunately, the County of Hudson will be unable to provide you with a copy of the requested letter as it was addressed to Mr. Kauffman’s wife and Attorney,” wrote Neil Carroll Jr., Hudson County’s adjuster.
Kauffman’s widow, Carole Weintraub, could not be reached for comment. She did not come to her husband’s last court appearance, after he was charged in the 2012 killing of his wife, April Kauffman.
The veterans advocate was found dead in her bedroom in the couple’s Linwood home.
James Kauffman’s attorneys, Ed Jacbos and Lou Barbone, did not respond to requests for comment.
In denying the suicide note’s release, Carroll cited several legal exemptions, including attorney-client privelege and marital privelege.
Kauffman was briefly on suicide watch when he first came into the Atlantic County Justice Facility June 13, after he pulled a gun and threatened to kill himself when law enforcement came for records at his Egg Harbor Township doctor’s office.
But two days later, he was upgraded, Atlantic County spokeswoman Linda Gilmore said.
A letter was sent to Hudson County on Jan. 8, behalf of the Atlantic County Justice Facility’s warden asking for them to take Kauffman.
The next day, he and Ferdinand Augello were charged April Kauffman’s killing. The pair and six others were also charged in an Oxycontin drug ring.
Kauffman’s alleged partner, Augello, also was charged with trying to set up the killing of the doctor inside the Atlantic County jail.
That was the reason Kauffman was moved to a different facility for his own protection.
Less than three weeks later, he was found unresponsive in his jail cell and pronounced dead from what has been called a suicide.