In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Richard Spatafore,




against Docket #FIC 86-284


Ansonia Police Commission and Chief, Ansonia Police Department,


Respondents January 14, 1987


The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 4, 1986, at which time the complainant and the respondent chief appeared, stipulated as 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.


2. On October 2, 1986, the complainant requested a copy of certain audio tape recordings of the respondent commission's July 24, 1986, and October 2, 1986, public hearings.


3. The respondent chief denied the complainant's request.


4. The complainant appealed to the Commission by letter dated October 6, 1986, and filed with the Commission October 8, 1986.


5. The respondent chief claims that he made the recordings for his personal use, that they are not the official record of the respondent commission's public hearings, and that they are not public records.


6. It is found that the recordings were made by the respondent chief using his own tapes and the Ansonia Police Department's tape recorder.


7.     It is found that these recordings are not the respondent commission's official record of the public hearings.


Docket #FIC 86-284 Page Two


8. It is found, nonetheless, that the respondent chief made the recordings for potential use in his capacity as chief of the Ansonia Police Department.


9. It is also found that the recordings are recorded information relating to the conduct of the public's business, prepared and retained by a public agency, within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.


10. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondent chief violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by not providing the complainant with a copy of the recordings in question.


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


1. The respondent chief shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of the audio tape recordings of the respondent commission's July 24, 1986, and October 2, 1986, public hearings.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of January 14, 1987


Catherine I. Hostetter

Acting Clerk of the Commission