FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
against Docket #FIC 90-55
State of Connecticut, Department of Education,
Respondent September 26, 1990
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 25, 1990, 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 ##'s FIC 90-131, FIC 90-133, FIC 90-140 and FIC 90-151.
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 January 19, 1990, the complainant requested in person and in writing that the respondent provide him with access to the employment files of John Rovaldi, Richard Mitchell, Raymond Lamont, Mark Jordan and Lauren Deich.
3. The complainant filed a letter of complaint with the Commisssion on February 7, 1990, alleging that the respondent denied him access to the records he requested.
4. At the hearing on this matter, the complainant specified that he seeks access to those records that describe these employees' qualifications for their jobs, such as their college degrees, previous job experience, length of employment, any police records, etc., including, but not necessarily limited to, their resumes and applications.
5. At the hearing, the complainant also specified that he does not seek any information on the employees' families, medical histories, religious affiliations, social security numbers or home addresses.
6. It is found that the complainant did receive some records concerning Mark Jordan and Lauren Deich.
Docket #FIC 90-55 Page Two
7. The respondent claims it denied the complainant access to records about the other three employees because it received written objections to disclosure from their collective bargaining representative, as allowed by 1-20a(c), G.S.
8. It is found that all the requested records are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.
9. It is found that the employees in question voluntarily undertook to perform public services and be paid by the state's taxpayers.
10. It is found that there is substantial public interest in the qualifications of its employees.
11. It is further found that the employees in question here are responsible for the education and counseling of physically-challenged individuals and others needing vocational rehabilitation services.
12. It is found that there is public interest in the qualifications and abilities of employees who are responsible for the education and welfare of physically-challenged individuals.
13. It is found that these employees have no legally-protected privacy interest in the information concerning their qualifications for their public employment.
14. It is concluded, therefore, that the requested records are not exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
15. It is also concluded that the respondent's belief that disclosure of the requested records would legally constitute an invasion of privacy was not reasonable and that 1-20a(b), G.S., did not require the respondent to contact the employees and their collective bargaining representative.
16. It is further concluded that the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19, G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with prompt access to the records containing information on the qualifications of John Rovaldi, Richard Mitchell and Raymond Lamont.
The following order of the Commission is hereby recommended based on the complete record in the above-captioned matter:
1. The respondent forthwith shall provide the complainant with copies of the records concerning John Rovaldi, Richard Mitchell and Raymond Lamont described in paragraph 4 of the findings above.
Docket #FIC 90-55 Page Three
2. In complying with paragraph 1 of this order, the respondent may redact or otherwise mask any information described in paragraph 5 of the findings above.
3. The respondent henceforth shall act in strict compliance with the records disclosure requirements of 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.
4. The respondent henceforth shall not withhold records from the public by relying unreasonably upon 1-20a(b), G.S.
Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 26, 1990.
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 90-55 Page Four
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:
239 Lowrey Place
Newington, CT 06111
STATE OF CONNECTICUT, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
c/o Carroll T. Willis, Jr., Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105
JAMES BOZZI; RAYMOND LAMONT; JOHN RAVALDI; RICHARD MITCHELL; PAUL GOODNEY; RICHARD CARLSON
c/o Robert J. Krzys, Esq.
Krzys & Paun
97 Oak Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission