In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


James M. Wright,




against Docket #FIC 88-89


Lisbon Board of Selectmen and Lisbon First Selectman,


Respondents June 22, 1988


The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 3, 1988, at which time the complainant and the respondents 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.


2. It is found that the complainant sent the Commission a letter of complaint dated March 4, 1988, along with certain supporting documents. The supporting documents were filed with the Commission on March 8, 1988.


3. It is found that the complainant's letter of complaint was lost and that the complainant sent the Commission a photocopy of the carbon copy of his letter dated March 4, 1988, which photocopy was filed with the Commission on April 4, 1988.


4. It is concluded, therefore, that the Commission properly has jurisdiction over the matter.


5. Although the complainant is a member of the respondent board, he was unable to attend its special meeting of February 29, 1988.


6. The complainant alleges that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act:

a. by taking up non-agenda items at the meeting of February 29, 1988;

b. by not entering into the record of the February 29, 1988, meeting his letter explaining his absence from the meeting;

c. and by the frequency with which the respondent first selectman calls special meetings.



Docket #FIC 88-89 Page Two


7. At the hearing the respondents admitted they had taken up non-agenda items. They also moved to have the remainder of the complaint dismissed, claiming that the Freedom of Information Act does not address the matters described in paragraphs 6b and c, above.


8. The Commission hereby grants the respondents motion and dismisses the complaint as to the matters described in paragraphs 6b and c, above, as the Freedom of Information Act does not proscribe such actions.


9. It is concluded that the respondents violated 1-21(a), G.S., by taking up non-agenda items at their meeting.


10. It is also found that the respondents are attending an educational workshop on the Freedom of Information Act, given by one of the Commission's assistant general counsel, on May 25, 1988.


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


1. The respondents henceforth shall act in strict compliance with 1-21(a), G.S., and confine each special meeting to items on the agenda.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of June 22, 1988.


Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission