FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

David E. Williams,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 87-62

 

City of Ansonia Board of Police Commissioners,

 

Respondent July 8, 1987

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 26, 1987, 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. The respondent received a copy of the Commission's final decision in Docket #FIC 86-262 on December 26, 1986.

 

3. By letter dated January 27, 1987, postmarked February 2, 1987, and filed with the Commission on February 3, 1987, the complainant alleged that the respondent failed to comply with the Commission's order in Docket #FIC 86-262 and failed to provide him with a copy of the amended minutes of its April 9, 1986 regular meeting.

 

4. The complainant also requested the imposition of a civil penalty against the respondent's members.

 

5. The order in question states: "The respondent shall forthwith prepare amended minutes of its April 9, 1986 regular meeting which reflect its vote to convene in executive session, the purpose of such executive session and the names of all persons attending such executive session."

 

6.     The respondent claims the amended minutes of its April 9, 1986 regular meeting accurately reflect what occurred at that meeting because no executive session was held.

Docket #FIC 87-62 Page 2

 

7. It is found that at its December 10, 1986 regular meeting the respondent amended the minutes of its April 9, 1986 regular meeting by adding the following:

 

a. "The monthly meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners was held on April 9, 1986. It was ended at 9 p.m."

 

b. "There was no executive session held to discuss personnel matters or union grievances #331 and #335 since only two (2) Commissioners were present at the regular meeting (Commissioners Sabulis and Tinney) and it was felt that the details of the union grievances did not necessitate an executive meeting and the personnel matters could be handled by the Chief. Therefore no minutes of an executive session exist."

 

8. It is found that the amended minutes of the respondent's April 9, 1986 regular meeting failed to reflect the attendance of the City of Ansonia's personnel director at that meeting.

 

9. It also is found that the amended minutes of the respondent's April 9, 1986 regular meeting failed to comply adequately with the Commission's order, as stated, in Docket #FIC 86-262.

 

10. It further is found that although the respondent did not provide the complainant with a copy of the amended minutes of its April 9, 1986 regular meeting, it was not ordered explicitly to do so by the Commission in Docket #FIC 86-262.

 

11. The Commission declines to impose a civil penalty against the respondent's members.

 

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 delete paragraph 2 from the amended minutes of its April 9, 1986 regular meeting and in its place state the following:

 

Docket No. 87-62 Page 3

 

a. "By order of the Freedom of Information Commission, the following paragraph shall be added to the minutes of the respondent's April 9, 1986 meeting: The City of Ansonia's personnel director attended the meeting. Commissioners Sabulis and Tinney discussed whether or not to address union grievances #331 and #335. Commissioners Sabulis and Tinney voted to refer union grievances #331 and #335 to the Chief of Police."

 

2. Henceforth, the respondent shall act in strict compliance with the requirements of 1-21(a), G.S.

 

3. The respondent forthwith shall contact the Commission to arrange for one of its staff attorneys to give a public workshop to the respondent's members concerning freedom of information laws. The workshop shall be held within six months from the date the respondent receives notice of this decision.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of July 8, 1987.

 

 

Catherine I. Hostetter

Acting Clerk of the Commission