FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
William H. Daley and The 
Middletown Press,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC1990-384
Chief of Police, Middletown Police
Department,
Respondents August 14, 1991
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on 
January 31, 1991 and March 1, 1991, at which time the complainants 
and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and 
presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. On 
March 12, 1991, the respondent presented a copy of the records at 
issue in this case for in camera inspection.
	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. By letter filed with this Commission on October 11, 1990, 
the complainants appealed the respondent's September 11, 1990 denial 
of his request for all documents pertaining to a completed 
disciplinary investigation conducted into allegations of improper 
behavior by a group of police officers on August 17-18, 1990.
	3. It is found that the records in question relate to a private 
party that occurred on the evening of August 17, 1990 and continued 
into the early morning hours of August 18.
	4. It is found that among those present at the party were off-duty police personnel.
	5. It is also found that an anonymous individual sent a letter 
to the complainant newspaper as well as to the mayor's office 
consisting of accusations concerning the behavior of attendees at 
the party in question.
	6. It is also found that as a result of these anonymous allegations, the 
respondent conducted an internal affairs investigation of the party in question.

	7. It is found that the records at issue constitute a personnel, medical 
or similar file within the meaning of 
1-l9(b)(2), G.S.

	8. It is also found that the internal affairs investigation file is largely 
composed of statements made by employees of the respondent, other 
witnesses, and summaries or reports thereof.

	9. It is found that as a result of this investigation, an employee of the 
respondent was disciplined for an infraction of the department's rules and 
regulations concerning an unauthorized rider in a police vehicle.
	10. It is found that the respondent declined to provide the 
complainants with the requested documentation identified in paragraph 2, above.
	11. It is found that with regard to the statements identified in 
paragraph 8, above, a great deal of the material consisted of witnesses' 
impressions and personal observations of other party attendees' personal 
conduct at a time and location away from the general public.
	12. It is concluded after reviewing the records in camera, that the 
release of the records in the form requested by the complainants would 
result in the release of records that would likely lead to personal embarrassment 
and in which there exists a reasonable expectation of privacy.
	13. It is also concluded, however, that the respondent violated the 
provisions of 1-l9(a), G.S. by withholding some information to which the public 
has a legitimate right and in which there does not exist a reasonable expectation 
of privacy including the identity of the officer actually disciplined; the specific 
discipline that was issued by the Chief; and a general description of the steps 
taken by the Middletown Police Department in conducting this internal affairs
 investigation after receiving the anonymous letter described in paragraph 5, 
above.
	The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the 
basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.
	The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainants with a 
letter or memorandum that identifies the officer who was disciplined pursuant 
to the case at hand; the specific discipline that was issued by the Chief; and a 
general description of the steps taken by the Middletown Police Department in 
conducting this internal affairs investigation after receiving the anonymous letter 
described in paragraph 5 of the findings, above.
	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