FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision
against Docket #FIC 91-311
State of Connecticut, Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities,
Respondent June 24, 1992
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 15, 1992, 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 letter of complaint filed on October 17, 1991, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent denied his request for certain documents.
3. It is found that the complainant represented a petitioner before the respondent.
4. It is found that the petitioner's claim of discrimination was filed on November 10, 1987.
5. It is found that the petitioner received a draft finding dated March 26, 1991 that reasonable cause existed for crediting the allegations of the petitioner.
6. It is found that the petitioner's employer submitted a position statement in response to the draft finding, and that a staff attorney for the respondent CHRO prepared a legal memorandum concerning issues raised by the employer.
7. It is found that the petitioner received a summary finding dated July 22, 1991 reversing the draft finding, and concluding that no reasonable cause existed for crediting the allegations of the petitioner.
8. It is found that the complainant by two letters dated October 7, 1991 to the respondent requested copies of the documents described in paragraph 6, above.
Docket #FIC 91-311 Page 2
9. It is found that the respondent denied the complainant's request.
10. It is concluded that the documents described in paragraph 6, above, are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.
11. The respondent maintains that the requested records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 46a-83(b), as in effect prior to January 1, 1990.
12. Section 46a-82a, G.S., (P.A. 89-332 6) provides:
Any complaint filed pursuant to section 46a-82 and pending on January 1, 1990, shall be resolved not later than July 1, 1992 pursuant to sections 46a-82 to 46a-96, inclusive, of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 1989.
13. It is found that the petitioner's complaint to the CHRO was pending on January 1, 1990.
14. Section 46a-83(b), G.S., (revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 1989, as applicable to the petitioner's complaint) provides in relevant part:
No [CHRO] commissioner or investigator may disclose what has occurred in the course of such endeavors provided the commission may publish the facts in the case and any complaint which has been dismissed and the terms of conciliation when a complaint has been adjusted.
15. The complainant maintains that the requested documents do not constitute records of "what has occurred in the course of such endeavors" within the meaning of 46a-83(b), G.S.
16. It is found, however, that the draft and summary findings were the fruits of the respondent's investigation, and that the petitioner's case would have progressed into conciliation based on the respondent's investigation and findings had the respondent found reasonable cause to believe the petitioner's allegations.
17. It is concluded, therefore, that the requested documents are records of what occurred in the course of the respondent's endeavors to investigate and conciliate the petitioner's CHRO complaint within the meaning of 46a-83(b), G.S.
18. It is therefore concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide the requested records to the complainant.
Docket #FIC 91-311 Page 3
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The complaint is dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 24, 1992.
Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 91-311 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:
Barry Boodman, Esq.
810 Bedford Street
Stamford, CT 06901
Philip A. Murphy, Jr., Esq.
Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities
90 Washington Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Clerk of the Commission