FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Nicholas B. Wynnick,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 89-43

 

Ansonia Library Board of Directors,

 

Respondent July 26, 1989

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 6, 1989, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. This case was consolidated for hearing with Docket #FIC 89-42 and Docket #FIC 89-70.

 

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. On February 6, 1989 the complainant orally asked the desk clerk at the Ansonia Library for access to inspect the time logs and pay charts of library employees for the weeks ending November 26, 1988 through January 28, 1989.

 

3. The complainant's request was referred to the Library Director, who required the request to be put in writing.

 

4. The complainant put his request in writing, under protest, and received copies of the records he sought to inspect.

 

5. By letter of complaint dated February 6, 1989 and received by the Commission on February 7, 1989, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that restrictions had been placed on his access to inspect public records.

 

6. At the hearing, the hearing officer denied the respondent's request that the hearing be continued because the president of the respondent board was unable to attend and present testimony.

 

Docket #FIC 89-43 Page 2

 

7. It is found that the records described in paragraph 2, above, are recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency.

 

8. It is concluded that the records described in paragraph 2, above, are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.

 

9. It is also concluded that nothing in 1-19(a), G.S., requires any person to put a request to inspect records in writing.

 

10. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondent violated 1-19(a), G.S., by placing an illegal precondition upon the complainant's right to inspect the subject records when the respondent required a written request to inspect the records.

 

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

 

1. The respondent shall henceforth act in strict compliance with the terms of 1-19(a) of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

2. The respondent shall cause a memorandum to be circulated to each supervisory and clerical employee of the Ansonia Library, alerting them to their responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act when responding to requests to inspect public records.

 

PURSUANT TO 4-180(c) C.G.S. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE F.O.I.C., OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

 

THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:

NICHOLAS B. WYNNICK

55 Prospect Street

Ansonia, CT 06401

 

JAMES E. SHEEHY, ESQ.

303 Wakeley Avenue

Ansonia, CT 06401

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of July 26, 1989.

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission