FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Francis J. Valutti

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 87-18

 

Personnel Director of the City of Bristol

 

Respondent January 13, 1988

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 4, 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. By letter dated January 13, 1987, the complainant requested a copy of the portion of the employment application of police officer Daniel Ahearn which asks "Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If yes, describe in full."

 

3. On January 26, 1987, the complainant filed his complaint with the Freedom of Information Commission, alleging that the records had not been provided.

 

4. The respondent alleges that information relating to the officer's criminal and arrest records, which is contained in his personnel files, is exempt under 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

5. It is found, however, that there is a legitimate public interest in the criminal records, if any, of a police officer and that disclosure of information regarding a police officer's criminal record would not constitute an invasion of personal privacy within the meaning of 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

 

Docket #FIC 87-18 page two

 

6. It is further found that a case raising the same issue as this case is pending in Superior Court, CV 86-0324199-S, City of Bristol v. Connecticut Freedom of Information, and that the complainant, herein, is a party to that case.

 

7. It is found, based upon the direct and specific testimony of the complainant, that he intends to file one request after another for each and every employee of the City of Bristol, each asking for the part of the job application which pertains to criminal records, until the respondent complies with his requests.

 

8. The respondent asks the Commission to provide it with relief pursuant to Public Act 87-526 (b) and to find that the complainant has filed his complaint frivolously, without reasonable grounds, and principally to harass the respondent.

 

9. It is found that the request was filed principally to harass the respondent, although it is not a frivolous complaint, and the records which the complainant seeks are public records which are not exempt from disclosure.

 

10. Under the unusual facts of this case, the Commission declines to order disclosure of the requested records until final disposition of CV 86-0324199-S, City of Bristol v. Connecticut Freedom of Information, which is now pending in Superior Court.

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned matter:

 

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed without prejudice.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of January 13, 1988.

 

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission