FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Reverend Bravell Dodd, Sr.,
against Docket #FIC 89-427
Board of Directors and Executive Director for Dixwell Opposes Alcoholism, Inc.,
Respondents July 9, 1990
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 5, 1990, 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. By letter dated October 18, 1989, the complainant requested the respondents to provide him with the minutes of their May 5, 1989 meeting.
2. By letter dated October 20, 1989, the respondents denied this request.
3. By letter filed with this Commission on November 13, 1989, the complainant appealed this denial.
4. The respondents filed a motion to dismiss the appeal alleging that the Commission lacks jurisdiction over the complaint because the respondents are not public agencies.
5. Whether the respondents are the functional equivalents of public agencies and therefore public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S. depends in part on the extent of the governmental involvement, which involvement can be analyzed by examining certain criteria utilized by the Supreme Court in Trustees of Woodstock Academy v. Freedom of Information Commission, 181 Conn. 544 (1980).
6. The criteria examined by the Supreme Court on that case are: (1) whether the entity was created by government; (2) the extent of government involvement or regulation; (3) the level of government funding; and (4) whether the entity performs a government function.
Docket #FIC 89-427 Page 2
7. The complainant alleges that the respondents satisfy the Woodstock criteria and that they are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
8. It is found that the respondent organization (hereinafter "D.O.A.") was originally formed by a group of concerned local residents to bring resources to alcoholics and, later, to drug addicts. D.O.A. activities include providing AIDS education, clothing, lunches, and counseling to help refer and place people to and in treatment facilities in the area.
9. It is concluded that D.O.A. does not perform what can traditionally be considered a government function.
10. It is also found that D.O.A. was incorporated as a non-profit organization to enable the group to receive federal grant dollars.
11. It is found that D.O.A's board of directors is appointed by its Director and confirmed by its board members.
12. It is concluded that the evidence produced was insufficient to prove that the respondent D.O.A. was created by government.
13. It is found that the respondent D.O.A. is funded primarily through grant dollars including grants from the Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (hereinafter "CADAC"), the Connecticut Commission on Health, and a community development grant from the city of New Haven, which grant amounts vary annually.
14. It is also found that the respondent D.O.A. receives donations from some private sources, which amounts vary annually.
15. It is found that CADAC's agreement with D.O.A. contains conditions that D.O.A. must meet to receive CADAC's funding.
16. It is also found that the CADAC grant is applied only to D.O.A.'s outpatient rehabilitation clinic but not to other services provided by D.O.A. including its clothing bank.
17. It is found that D.O.A. also contracts with the city of New Haven for funding, and that D.O.A. must account to the city concerning how those dollars are spent.
18. It is found, however, that the day-to-day operations of D.O.A. are supervised by its Executive Director.
Docket #FIC 89-427 Page 3
19. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondents are engaged in activity with government pursuant to their government funding vehicles.
20. It is also concluded, however, that because the criteria of government function and government creation are not met under the facts of this case, that the respondent is not a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.
1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.
2. The Commission suggests to the complainant that he may wish to consult with his attorney to investigate the possibility of relief under provisions of the personal data act pursuant to 4-190, G.S. to the extent that the records he seeks contain information pertaining to him.
Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of July 9, 1990.
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 89-427 Page 4
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:
REVEREND BRAVELL DODD, SR.
c/o Emma Jones, Esquire
Turner & Wright
900 Chapel Street
P.O. Box 1836
New Haven, CT 06508
BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR DIXWELL OPPOSES ALCOHOLISM, INC.
c/o Margot Kenefick Burkle, Esquire
The Harper Law Firm, P.C.
59 Elm Street
P.O. Box 1689
New Haven, CT 06507
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission