In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Edmund M. Diorio,




against Docket #FIC 86-86


Watertown Zoning Boardof Appeals,


Respondent May 14, 1986


The above captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 17, 1986 at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits 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. By letter of complaint dated March 27, 1986 and filed with the Commission on March 31, 1986 the complainant alleged that the minutes of the respondent's January 30, 1986 meeting are not an accurate reflection of what transpired at the meeting, in violation of 1-21, G.S.


3. The complainant also alleged that actions of the respondent violated Chapter 124, G.S.


4. It is found that the Commission lacks jurisdiction over Chapter 124, G.S., and therefore cannot entertain the allegations with respect to that chapter.


5. At the hearing before the Commission, the respondent made a motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to 1-21i(b), G.S., claiming the complaint was not filed within the statutory time period.


Docket #FIC 86-86 Page 2


6. It is found that the complainant's letter referred to in paragraph 2, above, alleges a continuing violation on the part of the respondent.


7. It is therefore concluded that the Commission has jurisdiction to determine that aspect of the complaint and the respondent's motion to dismiss was therefore denied.


8. The respondent also moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the complainant's allegations of non-compliance with certain zoning statutes was not within the Commission's jurisdiction.


9. It is concluded that the Commission has jurisdiction over that portion of the complaint which asserts that the minutes of the respondent's meeting are inaccurate.


10. The respondent's motion to dismiss the entire complaint was therefore denied.


11. The respondent moved to dismiss the complaint stating that the complainant has no standing as he has no real interest at stake.


12. It is concluded that nothing in the Freedom of Information Act precludes the complainant from asserting the rights of his client at the hearing before the Commission.


13. The respondent's motion to dismiss on the basis of lack of standing was therefore denied.


14. The complainant claims that the minutes of the meeting are inaccurate because they do not reflect the motions made by him or the objections that were made to the various testimony presented at the meeting in question.


15. The complainant further claims that the respondent filed a copy of the unapproved minutes in the office of the town clerk, and that there was a lapse in time before an approved or stamped copy was filed.


16. It is found that the meeting in question was tape recorded due to the unavailability of the respondent's recording secretary.


Docket #FIC 86-86 Page 3


17. It is found that nothing in 1-21, G.S., requires that an official or approved copy of the minutes be placed on file within the time period set forth in that statute. All that is required is that the minutes accurately reflect what transpired at the meeting.


18. It is further found that failure to record the comments recited by the complainant does not constitute a violation of 1-21, G.S.


19. It is therefore concluded that the minutes of the respondent's January 30, 1986 meeting were prepared in accordance with the requirements of 1-21, G.S.


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


1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at it May 14, 1986.


Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission