FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Joseph P. Ganim,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 90-412

 

Bridgeport Water Pollution Control Authority,

 

Respondent September 25, 1991

 

The above-captioned matter was scheduled for hearing with Docket #FIC 90-440 Joseph P. Ganim against Bridgeport Water Pollution Control Authority because of the similarity of the subject matter. It was heard as a contested case on February 11, 1991, at which time the complainant and the respondent 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. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. By complaint received November 1, 1990, but dated October 16, 1990, the complainant alleged that the respondent failed to provide him with copies of certain records requested by him in September and October, 1990, and denied in part by the respondent on October 5, 1990.

 

3. It is found that the records requested by the complainant consist of the following:

 

a. on September 27, 1990, the complainant requested water meter readings for the respondent's customers from July 1, 1988;

 

b. on September 29, 1990 the complainant requested reports or data verifying the total number of gallons per day/month/year that are processed by the Westside Treatment Plant and the Eastside Treatment Plant; and

 

c. on October 12, 1990 the complainant asked for copies of letters or certificates from the state Department of Environmental Protection or the federal Environmental Protection Agency showing either compliance or

 

Docket #FIC 90-412 Page 2

 

non-compliance with federal environmental regulations ("EPA regulations").

 

4. It is found that some of the requested records have been provided.

 

5. It is found that the primary issue remaining between the parties is whether the respondent has violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to provide copies of records showing water meter readings of its customers.

 

6. The respondent claims among other things that while it has computer access to the data requested, it does not have the capacity to print out the readings, which are maintained by Kaylon, a private entity that does the billing for the respondent.

 

7. It is found that all of the records sought by the complainant are related to a lawsuit that was filed on or about October 31, 1990 against the respondent in which the complainant represents numerous customers of the respondent.

 

8. It is found under the facts of this case that an order of this Commission requiring disclosure of the records requested by the complainant would affect the rights of litigants under the laws of discovery of this state.

 

9. It is concluded that records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19b(b), G.S., which provides in relevant part that:

 

[n]othing in sections 1-15, 1-18a, 1-19 to 1-19b, inclusive and 1-21 to 1-21k, inclusive, shall be deemed in any manner to (1) . . .affect the rights of litigants, including parties to administrative proceedings, under the laws of discovery of this state . . . .

 

10. It is concluded, therefore, as a matter of comity and based upon the requirements of 1-19b(b), G.S., that the Commission should not order disclosure in this case.

 

11. It is unnecessary, based upon the foregoing conclusion, to reach the additional issues addressed by the respondent.

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

 

Docket #FIC 90-412 Page 3

 

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 25, 1991.

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission

 

Docket #FIC 90-412 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:

Joseph P. Ganim, Esq.

Ganim, Ganim, Ganim & Ganim

4666 Main St.

Bridgeport, CT 06606

 

Peter Brown

Stamford Government Center

888 Washington Boulevard

6th Floor, Communications

Stamford, CT 06904-2152

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission