FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Maurice Rocheleau,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 87-183

 

Lisbon Board of Finance,

 

Respondent October 28, 1987

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 27, 1987, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared and 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. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on June 26, 1987 the complainant alleged that the respondent failed to provide notice of a June 24, 1987 meeting.

 

3. On June 24, 1987 the respondent met, without public notice, to appoint an auditor for the fiscal year 1986/87. The respondent designated the meeting an "emergency meeting." Such gathering was a "meeting" within the meaning of 1-18a(b), G.S.

 

4. At hearing, counsel for the respondent moved for a continuance based upon the unavailability of the town attorney, which motion was denied.

 

5. Also at hearing the respondent moved to dismiss the complaint and to impose sanctions against the complainant, which motions were denied.

 

6. The respondent claims that pursuant to 7-396, G.S. it was required to choose an auditor and to file the auditor's name with the secretary of the State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management [OPM] at least 30 days before June 30, 1987, but that, through an oversight, it had failed to do so.

 

Docket #FIC 87-183 Page Two

 

7. By letter dated June 15, 1987 a representative of OPM informed the chairman of the respondent that notification of the respondent's choice of an auditor had not yet been received. The letter further stated that if no choice had been placed on file by June 30, 1987, the secretary of OPM had the option, pursuant to 7-396, G.S., to appoint an independent public accountant to audit the respondent's accounts.

 

8. The chairman of the respondent received the June 15, 1987 letter from OPM on or about June 22, 1987. On the evening of June 23, 1987 it was confirmed by the respondent's clerk that, in fact, no appointment of an auditor had been made. The chairman thereupon contacted other members of the respondent and arranged the June 24, 1987 meeting.

 

9. The respondent claims a meeting could not have been postponed until either June 25 or June 26, 1987 because of the unavailability of a quorum.

 

10. The Commission takes administrative notice that June 27 and 28, 1987 fell on a Saturday and a Sunday, respectively.

 

11. It is found that the circumstances of the respondent's June 24, 1987 meeting constituted an emergency within the meaning of 1-21(a), G.S.

 

12. It is concluded that the respondent's failure to provide at least 24 hours notice of its meeting to appoint an auditor did not violate 1-21(a), G.S.

 

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 October 28, 1987.

 

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission