FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Michael S. Bracken, Jr.,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1990-343
Robert F. O'Brien, George M. Hall,
Edward E. Lanati, Laurence E. Matt,
Guido J. Montemrlo, Patsy Ruggiero
and Windsor Locks Police Commission,
Respondents August 14, 1991
	After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and 
conclusions of law are reached:
	1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 
1-18a(a), G.S.
	2. By letter of complaint filed September 14, 1990 and 
amended November 8, 1990, the complainant alleged that the 
respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act in several 
ways:
a. by failing to notify him that he would be discussed 
during its September 12, 1990 meeting;
b. by permitting non-agency members to attend its 
September 12, 1990 meeting;
c. by voting on motions in executive session that should 
have been voted upon in public session;
d. by meeting illegally in executive session;
e. by failing to keep and maintain accurate minutes of the 
September 12, 1990 meeting;
f. by failing to reduce the votes taken at the September 
12, 1990 meeting to writing and failing to have such votes 
ready for public inspection within 48 hours of the meeting; 
and law.
g. by failing to file commission minutes with the town 
clerk within 7 days.
The above-captioned matter was January 31, 1991, at which time the 
respondents appeared, stipulated to testimony, exhibits and argument on heard 
as a contested case on complainant and the certain facts and presented the 
complaint.

	3. The complainant requested that civil penalties be imposed upon the respondents.
	4. The respondents moved to dismiss the amended complaint 
because the amendments were filed November 8, 1990, more than 
thirty days after the violations alleged.
	5. The motion to dismiss is denied because the complaint 
itself was timely filed on September 14, 1990, and the amendment 
of the complaint does not deprive the Commission of 
jurisdiction.
	6. The respondents claimed that they had not violated the
	7. It is found that the respondent commission held a 
meeting on September 12, 1990 and that it moved into 
executive session to discuss personnel matters.
	8. It is found that when the respondent commission moved 
into executive session, it excluded members of the public from 
the meeting room and closed the door.
	9. It is found that two persons who were not members of the 
respondent commission, the recording secretary and the chief of 
police, attended the executive session.
	10. It is found that the respondent commission came out of 
executive session and voted to approve a motion to reinstate a 
civilian dispatcher.
	11. It is found that when the respondent commission voted 
to reinstate the civilian dispatcher it continued to exclude the 
public from the room.
	12. It is found that the respondent Commission did not vote 
to approve an appeal of a labor board decision ruling that the 
town should reinstate the complainant with back pay at its 
September 12, 1990 meeting.
	13. It is concluded that the attendance of the recording secretary 
at the executive session violated the requirement of 1-21g(a), G.S., 
which limits attendance at executive sessions to persons invited to 
present testimony or opinion, because the recording secretary presented 
neither testimony nor opinion.
	14. It is concluded that that there were no illegal votes 
or motions made in executive session, and that the respondent 
commission did not fail to notify the complainant that he would 
be discussed in executive session.
	15. It is concluded that the respondent did violate the 
open meetings provisions of 1-21, G.S., when it failed to 
notify the members of the public waiting outside the door that 
the executive session was concluded and the public session had 
begun.
	16. It is found that the minutes of the September 12, 
1990 meeting are accurate and timely filed.
	17. It is found that the respondent failed to reduce its 
motions to writing within 48 hours of its meeting on September 
12, 1990.
	18. It is concluded that the respondent violated the 
requirement of 1-21, G.S., that votes upon motions made must 
be filed within 48 hours of the meeting at which they occur.
	19. It is found that the respondent commission has now 
adopted a new procedure to ensure that the public is not 
excluded from its public sessions: it puts up a sign on the 
door of the meeting room to indicate it is in executive session 
and takes the sign down when it resumes public session.
	20. It is found under the facts of this case that a civil 
penalty is not appropriate.
	The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended 
on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.
	1. Henceforth the respondent commission shall reduce its 
motions to writing and file them with the town clerk within 48 
hours of its votes on such motions as required by 1-21, G.S.

	2. Henceforth the respondent Commission shall comply with 
1-21, G.S., by notifying the public when its executive 
sessions are completed so the public may re-enter the meeting 
room.
	3. Henceforth the respondent Commission shall limit 
attendance at its executive sessions in conformity with the 
requirements of 1-21g, G.S.
	Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its 
regular meeting of August 14, 1991.

 

______________________
Karen J. Haggett
Clerk of the Commission


 

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:
WILLIAM F. MCDONALD, ESQ.
1052 Enfield Street
Enfield, CT 06082
RICHARD T. BIGGAR, ESQ.
Assistant Attorney General
MacKenzie Hall
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105
ROBERT A. WHITEHEAD, JR., ESQ.
Assistant Attorney General
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106


______________________
Karen J. Haggett
Clerk of the Commission