FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Leo Patenaude

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 89-28

 

Chief of Police, Norwich Police Department, Deputy Chief, Norwich Police Department, and Norwich Personnel Director

 

Respondent May 24, 1989

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 2, 1989, 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 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 a series of letters apparently commencing December 3, 1988, the complainant requested a number of records of the respondents.

 

3. In essence, the complainant seeks:

 

a. all records of the respondent department

concerning incidents occurring at 49 Clearview

Drive, Norwich, Connecticut; and

 

b. a list of the names and addresses of all police

officers of the respondent department who

were employed by the respondent department on

February 2, 1986 or later but who left the

force as of January 1, 1989.

 

4. The complainant appealed to this commission by a series of letters commencing on January 20, 1989, alleging he has not been provided with access to all the records he has requested.

 

5. It is found that the police respondents have conducted searches for the requested information more fully described

 

Docket #FIC 89-28 Page 2

 

in paragraph 3a. above, have provided all records they have located within the purview of those requests, and have agreed to make available any future reports upon request.

 

6. It is also found, however, that the police respondents failed to comply promptly with the complainant's request more fully described in paragraph 3a., above, as required by 1-19(a), G.S.

 

7. The respondent personnel director claims that the complainant is not entitled to the list referred to in paragraph 3b., above, asserting that the names and addresses of police personnel are exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(2) G.S.

 

8. It is found that the names and addresses of police officers constitute directory information the disclosure of which, on balance, would not constitute an invasion of privacy in this case under 1-19(b)(2), G.S., and that, in any event, the respondent personnel director failed to prove that the individuals who are the subject of this request had any objection to the disclosure of this information.

 

9. It is therefore concluded that the respondents violated 1-19(a), G.S. by failing to provide the complainant with prompt access to the requested records more fully described in paragraph 3a., above, and by failing to provide the complainant with the list more fully described in paragraph 3b., above.

 

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 strictly comply with the time periods specified in 1-19(a) and 1-20a, G.S., for responding to requests for access to public records.

 

2. The respondent personnel director forthwith shall provide the complainant with a copy of the list of names and addresses of all police officers of the respondent police department who were employed by the department on February 2, 1986 or later but who left the force as of January 1, 1989.

 

3. The remainder of the complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

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

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission