FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
against Docket #FIC 90-140
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 90-55, FIC 90-131, FIC 90-133 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 April 10, 1990, the complainant delivered a letter to the respondent, requesting access to the employment files of James Bozzi, John Rovaldi, Richard Mitchell, Raymond Lamont and Richard Carlson.
3. The complainant filed a letter of complaint with the Commission on April 20, 1990, alleging that the respondent failed to respond to his request within four working days and failed to provide him with the application folders of James Bozzi, John Rovaldi, Richard Mitchell, Raymond Lamont and Paul Goodney.
4. At the hearing on this matter, the parties agreed that this case will concern James Bozzi's records only, since the other cases consolidated with this one for hearing deal with the records of the other individuals named in the complaint.
5. The respondent claims it did not respond to the complainant's April 10, 1990, request for records about Mr.
Bozzi because the complainant had made the request before and had been informed that Mr. Bozzi's collective bargaining representative had filed a written objection to disclosing the records.
Docket #FIC 90-140 Page Two
6. It is found, therefore, that the respondent did not respond in writing to the complainant's April 10, 1990, request within four business days of receiving it.
7. It is concluded that the respondent violated 1-21i(a), G.S., by failing to respond to a written request for records within four business days.
8. At the hearing on this matter, the complainant specified that he seeks access to those records that describe Mr. Bozzi's qualifications for his job, such as his college degrees, previous job experience, length of employment, any police records, etc., including, but not necessarily limited to, his resume and applications.
9. At the hearing, the complainant also specified that he does not seek any information about Mr. Bozzi's family, medical history, religious affiliation, social security number or home address.
10. It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.
11. It is found that Mr. Bozzi voluntarily undertook to perform public services and be paid by the state's taxpayers.
12. It is found that there is substantial public interest in the qualifications of its employee.
13. It is further found that Mr. Bozzi is responsible for the education and counseling of physically-challenged individuals and others needing vocational rehabilitation services.
14. It is found that there is public interest in the qualifications and abilities of an employee who is responsible for the education and welfare of physically-challenged individuals.
15. It is found that Mr. Bozzi has no legally-protected privacy interest in the information concerning his qualifications for his public employment.
16. It is concluded, therefore, that the requested records are not exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
17. 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 Mr. Bozzi and his collective bargaining representative.
Docket #FIC 90-140 Page Three
18. It is further concluded that the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with prompt access to the records containing information on the qualifications of James Bozzi.
The following order of the Commission is hereby recommended based on the complete record in the above-captioned matter:
1. The respondent henceforth shall act in strict compliance with 1-21i(a), G.S., responding in writing to all written requests for records within four business days.
2. The respondent forthwith shall provide the complainant with copies of the records concerning James Bozzi described in paragraph 8 of the findings above.
3. In complying with paragraph 1 of this order, the respondent may redact or otherwise mask any information described in paragraph 9 of the findings above.
4. The respondent henceforth shall act in strict compliance with the records disclosure requirements of 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.
5. 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 90-140 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