FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

David DuBret, Daniel Gombos and Christopher Lyddy,

 

Complainants,

 

against Docket #FIC 88-478

 

Chief of Police and Police Commission of the Town of Fairfield,

 

Respondents November 8, 1989

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 20, 1989, at which time the complainants and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.

 

At the Commission's meeting on November 8, 1989, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Town of Fairfield Local, was granted leave to participate as an intervenor pursuant to 1-21j-28, Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

 

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

 

2. By letter date November 15, 1988, the complainants requested the respondent chief provide them with individual examination scores and the rank and standing of all officers who took the April 1987 promotional examination for the rank of sergeant in the Fairfield police department.

 

3. By letter dated November 21, 1988, and received by the complainants on December 5, 1988, the respondent chief denied the complainants' request.

 

4. By letter dated November 21, 1988, and filed with the Commission December 5, 1988, the complainants appealed to the Commission, alleging the denial of access to the requested records and five other points of related information.

 

5. The respondents claim that no document of the rank and standing of each candidate participating in the April 1987 examination exists.

 

6. The respondents further claim that in withholding the individual examination scores they are simply complying with an agreement signed on October 20, 1988, to which they were a party.

 

Docket #FIC 88-478 Page Two

 

7. It is found that the Fairfield police department's sergeant promotional examination consists of three components: a written examination, a workshop examination, and each officer's annual service rating.

 

8. It is found that for each officer a supervisor creates a service rating, essentially a performance evaluation, for the fiscal year, and it usually is available to the officer by the Fall.

 

9. It is found that the service rating applicable to the April 1987 sergeant examination were not provided to the officers either before or after the examination because of alleged errors in the ratings. The original service ratings were modified at least once.

 

10. It is found that the respondents usually combine the service ratings with the written and workshop examination scores to arrive at a "promotional list" which gives the rank and standing of each candidate for sergeant.

 

11. It is found that the respondents use this list to determine who will be promoted to sergeant and who will be acting sergeant when a sergeant is absent.

 

12. It is found that the police officers' union contract requires the creation of such a promotional list.

 

13. It is found that a private testing firm administered the written and workshop portions of the examination and provided the respondents with a list of scores for those portions of the test.

 

14. It is found that at the hearing the respondents' attorney testified that no traditional promotional list, combining the written and workshop examination scores with the service ratings, was ever created for the April 1987 sergeant examination.

 

15. It is found that by an agreement signed on October 20, 1988 by representatives of the respondents, the IBPO (police officer's union) local chapter, and the State Board of Labor Relations, a list provided to the respondents by the private testing firm was used to determine which officer would be promoted.

 

16. It is found that the respondents' attorney further testified that the list used to determine the promotion firm combined only the written and workshop examination scores for each candidate.

 

Docket # FIC 88-478 Page Three

 

17. It is found that the written and workshop examination scores are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.

 

18. It is found that no federal law or state statute applies to exempt the disclosure of those scores.

 

19. Thus it is concluded the respondents violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainants with copies of the lists of the written examination scores and workshop examination scores.

 

20. It is found that the October 20, 1988, agreement calls for the destruction of the list created by the private testing firm.

 

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

 

1. The respondents henceforth shall act in strict compliance with 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.

 

2. The respondents forthwith shall provide the complainants with a copy of the written examination scores and workshop examination scores for all the candidates who participated in the Fairfield police department's April 1987 sergeant examination.

 

3. The respondents forthwith shall also provide the complainants with a copy of the list provided to the respondents by the private testing firm which was used to determine who was promoted to sergeant.

 

4. The Commission reminds the respondents that under 1-21k, G.S., it is a class A misdemeanor to wilfully, knowingly, and with intent to do so destroy, mutilate or otherwise dispose of any public record without the approval required by the state records retention statutes.

 

5. After receiving the notice of final decision in this case, the respondent police chief shall post a copy of the final decision in a conspicuous place in the Fairfield police department's offices for 30 days.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of November 8, 1989.

 

 

Tina C. Frappier

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

Docket # FIC 88-478 Page Four

 

PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

 

THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:

DAVID DUBRET, DANIEL GOMBOS AND CHRISTOPHER LYDDY

60 Cornfield Road

Milford, CT 06460

 

CHIEF OF POLICE AND POLICE COMMISSION OF THE TOWN OF FAIRFIELD

c/o Donal C. Collimore, Esquire

1238 Post Road

Fairfield, CT 06430

 

INTERVENOR:

 

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF POLICE OFFICERS TOWN OF FAIRFIELD LOCAL

1800 Silas Deane Highway, Suite 172

Rocky Hill, CT 06067

 

 

Tina C. Frappier

Acting Clerk of the Commission