FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Robert P. Dandeneau and Waterbury Police Union, Local 1237,

 

Complainants

 

against Docket #FIC 88‑312

 

John Lombardo, Fred Giusti, Victor Guerrera, Francis Nardozzi, Salvatore Porzio, Charles Mallon, Carl Swanson and City of Waterbury Board of Police Commissioners,

 

Respondents November 30, 1988

 

The above‑captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 20, 1988 at which time the complainants 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 of complaint dated July 28, 1988 and received by the Commission August 1, 1988, the complainants alleged that the respondents:

 

a. convened in executive session for an impermissible purpose at their July 27, 1988 special meeting;

 

b. discussed in that executive session matters neither stated in the notice of the meeting nor voted upon as reasons for convening in executive session; and

 

c. did not file minutes of the July 27, 1988 special meeting.

 

Docket #FIC 88‑312 Page 2

 

3. It is found that the respondents held a special meeting on July 27, 1988, the notice of which meeting described the meeting's purpose as a discussion of practices and personnel.

 

4. At the hearing on this complaint, the respondent board delivered to the complainant reconstructed minutes of the July 27, 1988 special meeting.

 

5. It is found that essentially all of the July 27, 1988 special meeting was conducted in an executive session convened for the single stated purpose of discussion of personnel matters.

 

6. It is found that among the matters discussed in executive session at the July 27, 1988 special meeting were certain personnel matters within the meaning of 1‑18a(e)(1), G.S.

 

7. It is also found that additional matters were discussed in executive session, including the automatic vehicle locator system, and the motorcycle squad policy.

 

8. It is found that the matters described in paragraph 7 above were not specified in the notice of the July 27, 1988 special meeting, which notice referred only generally to a discussion of practices and personnel.

 

9. It is concluded, therefore, that the notice of the July 27, 1988 special meeting failed to specify the business to be transacted within the meaning of 1‑21(a), G.S.

 

10. It is also concluded that the respondents discussed in executive session matters not voted upon as reasons for convening the executive session, in violation of 1‑21(a).

 

11. At the hearing on this complaint, the respondents claimed that the executive session was convened also to discuss security strategy as well as personnel matters.

 

12. It is found that the respondents failed to prove that the discussion described in paragraph 7 above concerned the appointment, employment, performance, evaluation, health or dismissal of a public officer or employee within the meaning of 1‑18a(e)(1), G.S.

 

13. It is also found that the respondents failed to prove that the discussion described in paragraph 7 above concerned security strategy or devices affecting public security within the meaning of 1‑18a(e)(3), G.S.

 

Docket #FIC 88‑312 Page 3

 

14. It is therefore concluded that those portions of the executive session convened at the July 27, 1988 meeting during which the topics described in paragraph 7 above were discussed were not held for a proper purpose within the meaning of 1‑18a(e), G.S.

 

15. Although the complainant requested the imposition of civil penalties, the Commission in its discretion declines to impose such penalties.

 

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

 

1. The respondents shall henceforth limit their executive sessions to purposes permitted in 1‑18a(e), G.S.

 

2. The respondents shall henceforth, in all notices of their special meetings, specify the business to be transacted at such meetings, in strict compliance with 1‑21(a), G.S.

 

3. The respondents shall henceforth state all reasons for convening in executive session at the time of any vote to so convene, in strict compliance with 1‑21(a), G.S.

 

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