FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Michael S. Bracken, Jr.,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 87-240

 

Board of Police Commissioners of the Town of Windsor Locks,

 

Respondent December 9, 1987

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 17, 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 held a meeting August 12, 1987, the agenda for which included the items "citizen complaint - Michael Bracken" and "certification of Supernumerary M. Bracken." At such meeting the respondent convened in executive session to discuss a citizen's complaint against the complainant.

 

3. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on August 25, 1987 the complainant alleged as follows concerning the August 12, 1987 meeting of the respondent:

 

a. That the respondent did not notifiy him that matters concerning him would be discussed at the meeting;

 

b. That the respondent did not notify him that he had the right to have these matters discussed in executive session;

 

c. That the respondent improperly allowed the attendance and participation of the police chief of the Town of Windsor Locks in the executive session; and

 

d. That the respondent improperly read into the public record correspondence concerning him which the complainant felt should have been discussed in executive session.

 

Docket #FIC 87-240 Page Two

 

4. By letter dated September 9, 1987 and filed with the Commission on September 11, 1987 the complainant requested that the meeting of August 12, 1987 be declared null and void due to the alleged lack of notice from the respondent, that the results of the executive session be declared null and void due to the presence of the police chief and that all correspondence read into the public record at the meeting be ruled "confidential."

 

5. It is found that nothing in the Freedom of Information Act gives any person the right to require that discussions concerning him be held in executive session or that documents concerning him be treated as confidential.

 

6. It is concluded that paragraphs 3(b) and 3(d), above, do not allege violations of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

7. It is found that in an August 6, 1987 letter to the complainant the police chief confirmed a conversation of the same date in which he had stated that his recommendation that the complainant be denied recertification as a part-time police officer would be discussed at the respondent's August 12, 1987 meeting and that the complainant was invited to attend.

 

8. The police chief also informed the complainant, in writing, that the matter of the citizen's complaint against him would be considered at the respondent's August 12, 1987 meeting.

 

9. The complainant claims that he received no notice of the August 12, 1987 meeting because none came directly from the respondent.

 

10. It is found that the complainant received timely, accurate and personal notice, both oral and written, that he would be discussed at the August 12, 1987 meeting and, in fact, attended such meeting accompanied by counsel. The complainant's claim that such notice was defective because it was delivered by the police chief is without merit.

 

11. It is found that the police chief attended the August 12, 1987 executive session in order to offer testimony and opinion concerning the case against the complainant which he was presenting to the respondent. Following the conclusion of testimony the chief was excused from the executive session, along with the complainant, his counsel and two witnesses.

 

12. It is found that the presence of the police chief at the August 12, 1987 executive session of the respondent did not violate 1-21g(a), G.S.

 

Docket #FIC 87-240 Page Three

 

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