In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Vera S. Zima,




against Docket #FIC 87-237


Fire Marshal of the Town of Wallingford and Fire Department of the Town of Wallingford,


Respondents December 9, 1987


The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 16, 1987, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared 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 July 23, 1987, the complainant made a request of the respondents for the complete investigative file concerning a March 28, 1986 fire at 84 Ridgetop Road, Wallingford.


3. On or about July 27, 1987 the complainant went to the office of the respondent fire marshal to pick up copies of the information that had been prepared for her.


4. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on August 18, 1987 the complainant, claiming that the information was unacceptable because the complainant felt it was incomplete, appealed to the Commission.


5. It is found that on or about July 27, 1987, the complainant was provided copies of the entire investigative file concerning the fire in question. Also, on or about September 10, 1987, the complainant was given a second copy of the entire investigative file.


Docket #FIC 87-237 Page 2


6. It is found that there is no report entitled "finalized investigative report" in the files of the respondents as testified by the respondent fire marshal.


7. It is also found that although not stated in the complainant's initial letter of request, the respondents provided her with a cassette tape of all 911 emergency calls received by the respondent fire department between 12:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. on March 28, 1986.


8. At the hearing, the respondents allowed the complainant to examine their complete file and provided her with copies of hand-written notes, a newspaper article and a letter received from the Commission, none of which was part of the "investigative file" requested.


9. It is concluded that the evidence presented does not establish that the complainant was denied access to public records as defined in 1-15 and 1-19(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 special meeting of December 9, 1987.



Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission