FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Lance C. Johnson and The Day,

 

Complainants,

 

against Docket #FIC 89-7

 

District Manager, State of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection, Eastern District,

 

Respondent May 24, 1989

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 3, 1989, at which time the complainants and the respondent 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 and conclusions of law are reached:

 

1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. By letter hand-delivered on December 23, 1988, the complainants requested the respondent provide them with copies of documents relating to citations issued against the Reverend Raymond Jean and a companion on November 9, 1988, at Stoddard Hill State Park in Ledyard, including:

 

a. the officers' reports detailing the circumstances,

b. facsimiles of the tickets,

c. and the record of the fines paid or pleas entered.

 

3. By letter dated December 28, 1988, the respondent denied the complainants' request.

 

4. By letter dated December 29, 1988, and filed with the Commission on January 3, 1989, the complainants appealed to the Commission.

 

5. The respondent claims he did not disclose the records based upon a decision of his superiors and others that publicity about the infractions might cause the subject to harm himself.

 

6. It is found that the records requested are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.

 

Docket #FIC 89-7 Page Two

 

7. It is found that 1-19(b)(3), G.S., does not apply to exempt the records from disclosure, as no criminal investigation was pending at the time of the complainants' request.

 

8. It is found that no other exemption from disclosure applies to the requested records.

 

9. Thus it is concluded that the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by denying the complainants prompt access to the requested records.

 

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

 

1. The respondent forthwith shall provide the complainants with copies of the records described in paragraph 2, above.

 

2. The Commission urges the complainants to use the requested records in a responsible manner.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 24, 1989.

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission