In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Charles R. Iovino,




against Docket #FIC 88-205


City Council, President of the City Council and City Manager M. Dale Cunningham of the City of Norwich,


Respondents September 28, 1988


The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 19, 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. At the May 18, 1988, meeting of Norwich Precinct One constituents, the complainant asked the respondent council president for certain records.


3. By letter dated May 19, 1988, the complainant reiterated his request.


4. In person at the May 18, 1988 meeting, and by letter dated May 20, 1988, the respondent president denied the complainant's request.


5. By letter dated June 2, 1988, and filed with the Commission on June 7, 1988, the complainant appealed to the Commission.


6. At the hearing, upon a motion by the complainant, the hearing officer dismissed the complaint as to the respondent city manager.


7. It is found that the respondent council president understood the complainant's request to be for records of the city manager's performance, specifically a letter she wrote to the city manager in March.


Docket #FIC 88-205 Page Two


8. At the hearing the complainant stated that his request was not for records of the city manager's performance, but for records of the termination agreement between the city council and city manager.


9. It is found that the records of the termination agreement were available to the public in the city clerk's office at the time of the complainant's request.


10. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondent council president did not violate 1-15 or 1-19(a), G.S., as she did not withhold the records the complainant sought.


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.


2. The Commission notes that this decision is limited to the request for the records described in paragraph 8, above, and does not rule on the disclosability of the records described in paragraph 7, above.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of September 28, 1988.


Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission