FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Robert McCloud,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 88-58

 

State of Connecticut Department of Parole,

 

Respondent July 27, 1988

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 26, 1988, 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. In Docket #FIC 87-145, Robert McCloud v. State of Connecticut Board of Parole and Chairman, State of Connecticut Board of Parole, the Commission ordered the respondent board and its chairman to provide the complainant with transcripts of parole hearings, held on March 17, 1983 and September 11, 1984, concerning the complainant and his former wife.

 

3. In addition to ordering disclosure of the hearing transcripts, the Commission ordered the respondent board and its chairman to delete from the transcripts all material which would identify, or help the complainant locate, the victims of his crimes.

 

4. The notice of Final Decision in Docket #FIC 87-145 was issued on December 22, 1987.

 

5. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on February 22, 1988 and docketed as #FIC 88-58, the complainant alleged that the respondent board had provided the requested transcripts, but had deleted more than was allowed by the Commission's order in Docket #FIC 87-145.

 

6. At hearing the complainant cited deleted references to his stepfather, former wife, mother-in-law and youngest daughter, none of whom were his "victims" within the meaning of the Commission's order in #FIC 87-145. The complainant also cited deletions of words such as "he" and "she."

 

Docket #FIC 88-58 Page Two

 

7. It is found that to comply with the Commission's order in Docket #FIC 87-145, the assistant to the chairman of the respondent, requested that a draft transcript be typed from tape recordings of the two hearings in question.

 

8. The chairman's assistant, who was present at the hearings in question, then checked the draft transcript for accuracy against the tape recordings, making changes as necessary. Finally, references which the chairman and the respondent felt might identify or help the complainant locate the victims of his crimes were deleted, and the complainant was provided with a copy of the transcript, with deletions.

 

9. The respondent claims that all deletions were necessary, in the context of the transcript, in order to avoid identification or location of the complainant's victims.

 

10. At hearing, the respondent offered to provide the complete transcript for in camera inspection by the Commission, which offer was declined.

 

11. It is found that the actions of the respondent and its chairman, described at paragraphs 7 and 8, above, comported with the language and spirit of the Commission's order in Docket #FIC 87-145.

 

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 July 27, 1988.

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission