In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Carolyn Massoni,




against Docket #FIC 88-315


Albert Killen, Jr., Town Council Chairman, Kathryn Wall, Town Clerk, and William Dickinson, Jr., Mayor of the Town of Wallingford


Respondents January 11, 1989


The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case September 22, 1988, at which time the parties presented evidence and argument on the complaint.


After consideration of the entire record, the following facts were found:


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


2. By letter of complaint filed August 2, 1988, the complainant alleged she was denied access to public records by the respondents on July 25, 1988.


3. The respondents claim that the complainant was provided access to the records which she seeks.


4. It is found that the complainant wanted to copy tapes of town council meetings which were stored in the office of the town council.


5. It is found that on July 25, 1988, the complainant requested that the respondent town clerk, the respondent mayor and the respondent chairman of the town council permit her to listen to the tapes.


Docket #FIC 88-315 page two


6. It is found that the tapes were not made available for listening because they were locked in the offices of the town council and because only the respondent chairman had the key.


7. It is found that the respondent chairman does not have regular office hours in the town hall.


8. It is found that the respondents violated 1-19(a), G.S. on July 25, 1988, because the tapes were not provided to the complainant promptly and because they were not available during regular office or business hours.


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


1. Henceforth, the respondents shall comply with 1-19(a), G.S.


2. The Commission urges the respondents either to maintain the tapes of the meetings of the town council in the office of the town clerk, or to give the town clerk the key to the offices of the town council, so that the tapes will be available to the public, and so that problems of access to the tapes will not arise in the future.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of January 11, 1989.



Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission