FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Marie A. Kamens,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 91-110

 

John F. Gauger, Jr., Nancy P. Habbal, William H. McCabe, Brian Sullivan, Walter D.

Miller, David A. Cappabianca, James A. Pettit and Winchester Board of Selectmen,

 

Respondents October 9, 1991

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 5, 1991, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.

At hearing the parties agreed that Brian Sullivan should be added as a party respondent.

 

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 dated April 29, 1991 and received May 2, 1991, the complainant alleged that a meeting held by the respondents on April 15, 1991 violated the requirements of 1-18a(e) and 1-21g, G.S.

 

3. It is found that on April 15, 1991 the respondents held three executive sessions to discuss personnel matters pursuant to 1-18a(e)(1), G.S.

 

4. It is found that the first executive session concerned the consolidation of the job of the fire marshall with the job of the building inspector.

 

5. It is found that the second executive session concerned the compensation of the chief of police.

 

6. It is found that the third executive session concerned

 

#FIC 91-110 Page Two

 

the negotiation of an early retirement package for a police captain.

7. The motions of the respondents to go into executive session provided some information about the subjects that were discussed:

 

a. for the first executive session one of the respondents moved "to go into executive session to discuss a specific employee/Fire Marshall [sic];"

 

b. for the second executive session one of the respondents moved "to go into executive session to discuss a personnel matter as requested by Chief Ligi;" and

 

c. for the third executive session one of the the respondents moved to go into executive session to discuss a specific employee/Police Captain."

 

8. It is found that these motions satisfy the requirements of 1-18a(e)(1) and 1-21, G.S., because they provide sufficient information about the ensuing executive session to permit further inquiry by the public if some further information is desired.

 

9. It is found that in addition to members of the respondent board, the town fire marshall and the town manager attended the first executive session.

 

10. It is concluded that the presence of the town fire marshall and the town manager at the executive session did not violate 1-21g, G.S., because the presence of all of the individuals named was necessary to offer opinion concerning the consolidation of the two jobs.

 

13. It is found that in addition to members of the respondent board the town manager, the police chief, and the labor counsel for the town attended the second executive session.

 

14. It is concluded that the presence of the town manager, the police chief, and the labor counsel for the town at the second executive session did not violate 1-21g, G.S., because the presence of all of the individuals named was necessary to offer opinions concerning the compensation of the chief.

 

15. It is found that the town manager, Captain Severio and his wife attended the third executive session.

 

16. It is found that the presence of the town manager, Captain Serverio and his wife did not violate 1-21g, G.S.,

#FIC 91-110 Page Three

 

because the presence of all of the individuals named was necessary to offer opinion concerning the early retirement of the police captain.

 

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

 

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 9, 1991.

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission

 

#FIC 91-110 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:

Marie A. Kamens

3 Hamill Drive

Winsted, CT 06098

and c/o

David A. Moraghan, Esq.

Smith, Keefe, Conti & Moraghan

P.O. Box 1146

179 Water Street

Torrington, CT 06790

 

John F. Gauger, Jr., Nancy P. Habbal, William H. McCabe, Brian Sullivan, Walter D. Miller, David A. Cappabianca, James A. Pettit, Winchester Board of Selectmen

c/o Mark J. Svonkin, Esq.

Harding & Svonkin

18 North Main Street

West Hartford, CT 06107

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission