FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Richard R. Olson,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 86-282

 

Thames Valley Presidential Search Committee of the Board of Trustees for State Technical Colleges,

 

Respondent December 16, 1986

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 27, 1986, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared 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 dated September 20, 1986 the complainant made a request of the respondent for copies of the videotaped interviews of Dr. John K. Fisher and Dr. Eileen Baccus, candidates for president of Thames Valley State Technical College.

 

3. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on October 7, 1986 the complainant appealed the respondent's failure to provide him with the requested copies.

 

4. At hearing the respondent stated that it would provide the complainant with copies of the taped interview or interviews of Dr. Baccus, the successful candidate for the position of president.

 

5. The respondent claims that the interview or interviews of Dr. Fisher, an unsuccessful candidate, are exempted from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2) and 1-19(b)(6), G.S. and that 1-21g, G.S. evidences a legislative intent to exempt the videotapes from disclosure.

 

6. It is found that subsequent to his interview with the respondent, Dr. Fisher was named president of Norwalk State Technical College, another of the five institutions in the state technical colleges system.

 

Docket #FIC 86-282 Page Two

 

7. It is found that the respondent failed to prove that the interview questions which would be revealed by releasing Dr. Fisher's taped interview are test questions within the meaning of 1-19(b)(6), G.S. Furthermore, the respondent has already consented to the release of the same or similar questions by agreeing to provide the complainant with a copy of Dr. Baccus's interview tape.

 

8. Section 1-21g, G.S. allows a public agency to protect the identity of job candidates being interviewed in executive session. In the present case, Dr. Fisher's identity is known and he has, in fact, obtained employment in the State of Connecticut's technical colleges system.

 

9. It is concluded that 1-21g, G.S. does not exempt Dr. Fisher's videotaped interview from disclosure.

 

10. It is found that the respondent failed to prove that disclosure of a videotaped interview of a candidate for the presidency of a state technical college whose identity is known and who has obtained employment within the state technical colleges system would constitute an invasion of personal privacy within the meaning of 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

11. The respondent failed to prove that the videotaped interview of Dr. Fisher is exempted from disclosure by any other provision of the Freedom of Information Act, other state statute or federal law.

 

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

 

1. The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of all videotaped interviews of Dr. John K. Fisher and Dr. Eileen Baccus, candidates for president of Thames Valley State Technical College within 30 days of the date mailing of the notice of Final Decision in this case.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of December 16, 1986

 

Catherine I. Hostetter

Acting Clerk of the Commission