FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
against Docket #FIC 88‑271
Chief, Milford Police Department, Milford Police Department and Milford City Attorney,
Respondents November 9, 1988
The above‑captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 30, 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. On or about January 19, 1988 the complainant complained to the respondent department that she had been receiving harassing telephone calls. The complainant's report was designated incident #651453. Following an investigation, the respondent department concluded that the complainant's complaints of harassment were unfounded and the case was closed.
3. By letter dated May 19, 1988 the complainant made a request of the respondent chief for a copy of incident report #651453.
4. By letter dated May 27, 1988 the respondent chief informed the complainant that her request had been forwarded to the respondent city attorney.
5. By letters dated June 17, 1988, June 24, 1988 and June 30, 1988 the complainant made requests of the respondent city attorney for the incident report.
6. By letter dated July 7, 1988 the respondent city attorney denied the complainant's request for the incident report.
Docket #FIC 88‑271 Page Two
7. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on July 7, 1988 the complainant appealed the respondents' failure to provide the requested record.
8. It is found that as of the date of hearing the respondents had provided the complainant with a copy of the requested incident report from which had been deleted all references to witnesses' identities and all statements concerning the complainant's mental or emotional state.
9. The respondents claim that they deleted the information referred to at paragraph 8, above, because they feared the complainant would harass witnesses if she were to learn their identities and the full contents of their statements.
10. It is found that the information referred to at paragraph 8, above, is information contained in a record of a law enforcement agency, not otherwise available to the public, and compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime.
11. It is further found that disclosure of the identities of witnesses would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of the identities of informants not otherwise known within the meaning of §1‑19(b)(3)(A), G.S.
12. It is concluded that information contained in incident report #651453 which would reveal the identities of witnesses is exempt from disclosure pursuant to §1‑19(b)(3)(A), G.S.
13. It is found, however, that the respondents failed to prove that the contents of witnesses' statements were exempt from disclosure pursuant to any provision of the Freedom of Information Act, other state statute or federal law.
14. It is found that the respondents failed to provide the complainant with a copy of the requested incident report promptly, in violation of §1‑15, G.S.
15. It is further found that the respondents improperly deleted information concerning witnesses' statements, in violation of §§1‑15 and 1‑19(a), G.S.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above‑captioned complaint.
1. The respondents forthwith shall provide the complainant with a copy of incident report #651453.
Docket #FIC 88‑271 Page Three
2. In complying with paragraph 1 of the order, above, the respondents may mask or otherwise delete information which, if disclosed, would reveal the identities of informants not otherwise known.
Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of November 9, 1988.
Catherine H. Lynch
Acting Clerk of the Commission