FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

SUPPLEMENTAL HEARING

 

Nicholas B. Wynnick,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 86-322

 

Ansonia Library Board of Directors,

 

Respondent October 14, 1987

 

In the final decision in the above-captioned contested case, adopted at its regular meeting on March 11, 1987, the Commission ordered the respondent to appear before the undersigned hearing officer for a hearing to determine whether the Commission should assess a civil penalty against the respondent. A hearing was held on August 5, 1987, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared and presented exhibits and argument on the issue of a civil penalty.

 

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. With the permission of the parties, the Commission takes administrative notice that on August 26, 1986, the respondent's attorney received notice of the final decision in Docket #FIC 85-224, the underlying case in this matter.

 

3. The Commission also takes administrative notice that in that decision it found the complainant was denied access to a public record and ordered the respondent to forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of the corrected minutes of its May 6, 1985, meeting.

 

4. Again with the permission of the parties, the Commission takes administrative notice that on March 24, 1987, the respondent's attorney received notice of the final decision in Docket #FIC 86-322, concerning non-compliance with the Docket #FIC 85-224 order.

 

5. The Commission also takes administrative notice that, in its final decision in Docket #FIC 86-322, it found non-compliance and again ordered the respondent to forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of the corrected minutes of its May 6, 1985, meeting.

 

Docket #FIC 86-322 Page Two

 

6. It is inferred then that the respondent's members knew on or about both August 26, 1986, and March 24, 1987, that it was their responsibility to quickly provide the complainant with a copy of the minutes.

 

7. It is found that the respondent did not mail the record in question to the complainant until March 16, 1987.

 

8. It is concluded that the respondent denied the complainant's right of access to a public record for almost a year without reasonable grounds.

 

9. It is found that the respondent's members during the time period in question were: Margaret Tuccio, Michael Dalton, Elizabeth Dearborn, James Gleason, Donald Hylwa, Thelma Komisar, Mary Lane, Alton Palmer and Madeline Sobin.

 

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

 

1. The Commission hereby imposes a civil penalty of $25.00 against the respondent's members, as listed in paragraph 9, above, jointly and severally. Thus as a group the respondent's members shall be responsible for remitting a total fine of $25.00, but in the event the group does not pay this $25.00 fine, any one of the respondent's members may be held liable for it.

 

2. The respondent board shall schedule a workshop for its members and staff on the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. The respondent board shall make the necessary arrangements with the commission's staff so that the workshop shall be held no later than 60 days from the notice of final decision in this case.

 

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

 

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission