FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Robert L. Silvestri and AFSCME Local 387

 

Complainants

 

against Docket #FIC 86-326

 

 

Connecticut Department of Correction and Personnel Administrator, Connecticut Department of Correction

 

Respondents February 25, 1987

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 30, 1986, at which time the complainants and the respondents 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. By letter dated October 21, 1986, the complainants requested access to inspect or copy the entire case file relating to the charge of misconduct and subsequent suspension of the stores supervisor of the Connecticut Correctional Center in Cheshire.

 

3. By letter dated November 14, 1986, the respondent administrator stated that the complainants had been provided with some documents and refused to disclose other materials to the complainants.

 

4. By letter of complaint dated November 20, 1986 and filed with the Commission on November 24, 1986, the complainants alleged that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act in their refusal to release the entire case file.

 

5. The complainants request the imposition of a civil penalty.

 

6. At the hearing, the respondents moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the complainants had not met their burden of proof.

 

Docket #FIC 86-326 Page 2

 

7. The respondents' motion to dismiss was denied.

 

8. It is found that the respondents refused to disclose to the complainants the following records:

 

a. The notes taken by a personnel officer of the respondent department in preparation for a Step 3 grievance hearing against the stores supervisor, as well as his notes taken during and after the Step 3 hearing.

 

b. The respondent administrator's notes given to a personnel officer of the respondent department in preparation for the Step 3 grievance hearing.

 

c. The respondent department's assistant deputy commissioner's notes setting forth the disciplinary action to be taken against the stores supervisor.

 

d. The respondent administrator's notes given to the respondent department's assistant deputy commissioner recommending proposed disciplinary action against the stores supervisor.

 

e. The notes of the respondents' attorney taken in preparation for the hearing before the Commission.

 

9. Subsequent to the hearing in this matter, the respondents released copies of the records described in paragraphs 8c and 8d, above, to the complainants and therefore these records are no longer at issue.

 

10. The respondents claim that:

 

a. The records described in paragraphs 8a and 8b, above, are exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(4), G.S., since they plan to use them in developing strategy for a pending arbitration proceeding.

 

b. The records described in paragraph 8e, above, are exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(10), G.S., since they contain communications privileged by the attorney-client relationship.

 

11. It is concluded that the records described in paragraphs 8a and 8b, above, are exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(4), G.S. until the grievance against the stores supervisor is finally adjudicated or otherwise settled.

 

Docket #FIC 86-326 Page 3

 

12. It further is concluded that the records described in paragraph 8e, above, are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(10), G.S.

 

13. The Commission declines to impose a civil penalty.

 

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 its regular meeting of February 25, 1987.

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission