FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Richard Vizcaino and David Gillig,

 

Complainants

 

against Docket #FIC 87-223

 

Chief, Stonington Police Department and Stonington Police Department,

 

Respondents December 15, 1987

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 3, 1987, at which time the complainants and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. During the hearing the state's attorney for New London requested party status. The hearing officer reserved decision on the motion, while permitting full participation by the state's attorney in the hearing.

 

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 filed August 3, 1987, the complainants requested permission to inspect an investigative file compiled in connection with investigation of a fire which occurred December 2, 1983, on the property of the complainant, Vizcaino.

 

3. The complainants were refused access to the file because the respondents claimed that the file was still open and the police were close to a warrant.

 

4. State's attorney, Robert Satti, requested party status pursuant to 1-21j-27 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

 

5. The request of the state's attorney is denied, however, the state's attorney is hereby granted intervenor status.

 

Docket #FIC 87-223 page 2

 

6. The respondents claimed the record of the investigation is exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(3)(B), G.S., which exempts from disclosure information to be used in a prospective law enforcement action if disclosure is prejudicial to such action.

 

7. It is found that the investigation of the fire is at a stage which makes an arrest probable provided some additional evidence is uncovered or disclosed.

 

8. It is further found that disclosure would be prejudicial to the prospective law enforcement action.

 

9. It is concluded that the requested record is exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(3)(B), G.S.

 

10. In view of the foregoing conclusion, the additional claims of the respondent that the record is exempt under 1-19c and 1-19b(b), G.S., need not be addressed.

 

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 special meeting of December 15, 1987.

 

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission