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 89-70

 

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 89-43.

 

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. The respondent held a regular meeting on January 9, 1989.

 

3. At that meeting, the respondent convened in executive session for the stated purpose of discussing the employment situation of an individual who was employed by the Ansonia Library.

 

4. On the morning of February 8, 1989 the complainant requested of the desk clerk at the Ansonia Library a copy of the letter notifying the employee who was the subject of the January 9, 1989 executive session that she would be discussed in executive session.

 

5. The complaint was given a copy of the minutes of the January 9, 1989 meeting and told by the assistant library director that she did not know where the requested notice was, but that someone could respond to the complainant's request that afternoon.

 

Docket #FIC 89-70 Page 2

 

6. On the afternoon of February 8, 1989, the complainant repeated his request to the library director, who provided him with a copy of a memorandum dated January 17, 1989 from the library director to the president of the respondent board, recommending that the situation that then existed with the subject library employee be added to the respondent's agenda for its February 6, 1989 meeting.

 

7. By letter of complaint dated February 16, 1989 and received by the Commission on February 21, 1989, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that he had been denied his request for a copy of the notice described in paragraph 4, above.

 

8. 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.

 

9. It is found that the records provided to the complainant were not responsive to his request.

 

10. It is concluded that the record described in paragraph 4, above, if it exists, is recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency.

 

11. It is concluded therefore that the record described in paragraph 4, above, if it exists, is a public record within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.

 

12. It is found that the Ansonia Library is the respondent's regular office or place of business.

 

13. It is concluded that 1-19(a), G.S., requires the respondent to keep and maintain all public records in its custody at its regular office or place of business in an accessible place, unless the respondent has no regular office or place of business.

 

14. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondent violated 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide access to or a copy of the record described in paragraph 4, above.

 

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

 

1. The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of the requested record or, within two weeks of the issuance of the Final Decision in this matter, provide the complainant with an affidavit stating that it has conducted a thorough

 

Docket #FIC 89-70 Page 3

 

search of its records, including any records currently maintained at locations other than the Ansonia Library, and that the record requested by the complainant does not exist.

 

2. The respondent shall henceforth act in strict compliance with the terms of 1-19(a), G.S., of the Freedom of Information Act regarding the maintenance of its records at its regular office or place of business in an accessible place.

 

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