FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Carl LaBianca,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 87-150

 

William Collins, William Holland, Michael Wieloszynski and Board of Police Commissioners of the City of Norwalk

 

Respondents April 13, 1988

 

The above-captioned matter was scheduled for hearing June 30, 1987 at which time the parties appeared and presented evidence and argument on the complaint. It was consolidated with #FIC 87-137 because of the similarity of the issues at the request of the parties.

 

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 of complaint filed with the Commission on May 18, 1987, the complainant alleged that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act on May 4, 1987 when it considered items not on the agenda, discussed his job performance at an executive session without notifying him, and permitted a person to attend that executive session in violation of 1-21g, G.S.

 

3. The respondents claimed that the executive session was not held pursuant to 1-18a(e)(1), G.S., but rather pursuant to 1-18a(e)(5), G.S.

 

4. It is found that the last item of the agenda was listed as "executive session."

 

5. It is found that the requirement of 1-21, G.S., for an agenda is a notice requirement and that the description of part of a meeting as "executive session" only, is insufficient to satisfy the notice requirement for an agenda.

 

Docket #FIC 87-150 page 2

 

6. It is found that the executive session was held to consider a letter written by the city attorney concerning how a job evaluation for the chief of police could be held in a manner which conformed with the Freedom of Information Laws.

 

7. It is found that the executive session was not held for the purpose of evaluating the chief, and that therefore, it was not necessary to notify him in advance of the executive session.

 

8. It is found that the labor attorney who was present at the executive session made contributions to the discussion throughout the executive session in accordance with 1-21g, G.S.

9. It is therefore concluded that 1-21g, G.S., was not violated by the presence of a labor attorney because his opinion was necessary for the discussion which was being conducted.

 

10. Both parties requested that civil penalties be imposed in this matter.

 

11. It is found under the facts of this case that it is not appropriate to impose civil penalties on either party.

 

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

 

1. The respondents shall henceforth comply with the agenda requirements of 1-21, G.S.

 

2. The portion of the complaint which alleges violations of 1-21g and 1-18a(e)(1), G.S., is dismissed.

 

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

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission