In the Matter of a Complaint by                                         FINAL DECISION


Robert F. McNulty




          against                                                         Docket #FIC 87-154


East Hartford Town Councilor Wanda Franek


                      Respondent                                                 August 26, 1987


          The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 1 and July 6, 1987, at which times 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.  On May 12, 1987, the complainant requested in writing that the respondent provide him with a copy of the emergency medical service ("EMS") petition, including signatures, concerning retention of the East Hartford EMS program.


          2.  The respondent is a member of the East Hartford Town Council and a former member of that town's EMS Commission, a town agency that serves as an advisory body to the mayor on matters of EMS.


          3.  Within one week of the complainant's request, he received a memorandum from the respondent asserting that she did not have the petition.


          4.  From that denial, the complainant appealed to the Commission by letter dated May 21, 1987 and filed with the Commission on May 22, 1987.


          5.  The respondent claims that at the time of the complainant's request, she no longer had any of the requested signed petition forms and that, in any event, she never had such a petition in her capacity as a public official.


Docket #FIC 87-154                                      Page 2


          6.  It is found that as of the date of the complainant's request, the respondent no longer had in her possession or custody any of the signed petition forms, having returned them previously to one of the organizers of the petition drive.


          7.  It also is found that circulating petitions of the sort requested by the complainant, or involvement in such petition drives, is not one of the express or implied duties of members of the East Hartford Town Council.


          8.  Consequently, even if certain members of the public believed, or were led to believe, that the respondent was acting in her official capacity with respect to her involvement with the petition drive in question, it is found that the respondent was not acting in her capacity as a public official with respect to such petition drive.


          9.  Therefore, it is concluded that the respondent did not violate the Freedom of Information Act in failing to provide the complainant with a copy of the requested petition.


          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 August 26, 1987.



                                                                             Catherine I. Hostetter

                                                                             Acting Clerk of the Commission