In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Ronald M. Gregory,




against Docket #FIC 86-39


Wallingford Town Council of the Town of Wallingford,


Respondent May 14, 1986


The above-captioned matter was scheduled to be heard as a contested case with #FIC 86-40, Edward R. Bradley vs. Wallingford Town Council, on February 28, 1986, because of the similarity of the subject matter. On February 28, 1986 the complainants appeared and requested a continuance and the matter was continued to April 4, 1986, at which time the parties appeared and presented evidence and argument on the complaint. Thereafter, the matter was continued to April 25, 1986, at which time the parties appeared and presented additional evidence and argument on the complaint.


After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found:


1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.


2. The respondent moved to dismiss the complaint because of the failure of the Freedom of Information Commission to comply with the requirements set forth at 1-21i(b), G.S.


3. Section 1-21i(b), G.S., provides in relevant part:


Said commission shall, within twenty days after receipt of the notice of appeal, hear such appeal after due notice to the parties and shall decide the appeal within thirty days after such hearing.


4. Notice was sent to all parties on February 21, 1986 for the scheduled hearing on February 28, 1986.


5. On February 28, 1986 only the complainants appeared to request a continuance.


6. The continuance was granted and the matter was continued to April 4, 1986, and thereafter to April 25, 1986.


Docket #FIC 86-39 page 2


7. It is found that the hearing was opened on February 28, 1986, and that the requirements of 1-21i(b), G.S., have been satisfied.


8. The complainant alleged that the respondent had failed to file a notice as required by 1-21, G.S., that it would hold a special meeting to discuss the Resource Recovery Plant to be built in Wallingford on February 10, 1986.


9. Respondent admits that the notice was not posted, but argues that because of widespread publicity the effect of its failure to post a notice was only a technical violation.


10. Complainant urges that the Commission hold a hearing to determine whether a civil penalty is appropriate.


11. It is found that the violation of 1-21, G.S. was inadvertant, and although a notice should have been posted, in this case a hearing on a civil penalty is not appropriate.


The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.


1. The respondent shall henceforth post notices for its special meetings in accordance with 1-21, G.S.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of May 14, 1986.


Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission