FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

David Roane,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 88‑310

 

Chairman, Portland Housing Authority and Portland Housing Authority,

 

Respondents November 30, 1988

 

The above‑captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 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 findings of fact are made and conclusions of law are reached:

 

1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1‑18(a), G.S.

 

2. By letter dated June 28, 1988, the complainant made a request of the respondent authority for:

 

a. a list of all members of the respondent authority's board of commissioners,

 

b. copies of all notices published relative to the hiring of an executive director for the respondent authority.

 

c. copies of all notices of a meeting of the respondent authority's board of commissioners held on May 17, 1988.

 

d. copies of all notices of the executive session of the respondent authority's board of commissioners held on May 17, 1988.

 

e. copies of all resumes for the position of executive director for the respondent authority received, showing the time stamp of receipt.

 

Docket #FIC 88‑310 Page 2

 

3. By complaint dated July 29, 1988 and filed with the Commission on August 1, 1988, the complainant alleged that his June 28, 1988 request had been denied and that the respondent authority's board of commissioners met in executive session on May 17, 1988 without proper notice.

 

4. At the hearing, the complainant acknowledged receipt of a letter from the respondent authority dated August 18, 1988 to which was appended the records requested in paragraphs 2a and 2b above, and which stated that no public meeting or executive session was held on May 17, 1988.

 

5. At the hearing, the complainant acknowledged receipt of records in response to the request described in paragraph 2e above.

 

6. It is found that respondents failed to provide any of the documents requested by the complainant until approximately seven weeks after the request described in paragraph 2 above.

 

7. It is concluded that the respondent authority failed to provide to the complainant promptly upon request copies of the records described in paragraphs 2a, 2b and 2e above, in violation of 1‑15 and 1‑19(a), G.S.

 

8. At the hearing, the respondent moved to dismiss that portion of the complaint pertaining to an alleged May 17, 1988 executive session on the grounds that no such executive session was held.

 

9. It is found that the complainant failed to prove that any public meeting or executive session was held by the respondent on May 17, 1988.

 

10. It is found, however, that the respondent housing authority held a meeting on May 10, 1988, during which meeting applicants for the position of executive director of the respondent housing authority were discussed in executive session and a decision was reached to offer the position to an applicant other than the complainant.

 

11. It is concluded that the complaint in this case fairly apprised the respondent of an alleged violation of the Freedom of Information Act with respect to the executive session held on May 10, 1988.

 

12. It is also found that the complainant received actual notice of the occurrence and actual subject of the May 10, 1988 executive session sometime during the third week of May, 1988.

 

13. It is concluded, therefore, that the complainant failed to file his complaint within 30 days of actual notice of the May 10, 1988 executive session.

 

Docket #FIC 88‑310 Page 3

 

14. It is concluded, therefore, that the Commission lacks jurisdiction over the portion of the complaint concerning the executive session alleged to have been held on May 17, 1988 and actually held on May 10, 1988.

 

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

 

1. Henceforth, the respondent shall act in strict compliance with the requirements of 1‑15 and 1‑19(a) regarding prompt provision of copies of public records.

 

2. That portion of complaint pertaining to the executive session alleged to have occurred on May 17, 1988 is hereby dismissed.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of November 30, 1988.

 

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission