FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by                        Final Decision

 

Michael A. Soriero,

 

                        Complainant

 

            against              Docket #FIC 91-336

 

Sterling First Selectman, Sterling Board of Selectmen andChairman, Sterling Board of Finance,

 

                        Respondent                  June 24, 1992

 

            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 11, 1992, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

            2.  By letter filed with this Commission on October 22, 1991, the complainant alleged that the respondents violated the FOI Act by failing to publicly state the purpose for an executive session and by failing to vote to enter executive session prior to doing so at the respondent board's October 16, 1991 meeting.

 

            3.  It is found that the respondent board generally conducts "informal" meetings during which "roll-call" or "show of hands" votes are seldom taken.

 

            4.  It is also found that no formal vote was taken prior to an executive session entered by the respondents during the October 16, 1991 meeting.

 

            5.  It is also found that the respondents did not publicly articulate the purpose of the October 16, 1991 executive session.

 

            6.  It is concluded that the respondent selectmen violated the provisions of 1-21(a), G.S., by failing to take a formal vote as described in paragraph 4, above, and by failing to publicly articulate the purpose of the October 16, 1991 executive session.

 

Docket #FIC 91-336                           Page 2

 

            7.  It is also concluded, however, that the FOI Act imposes no affirmative duty on the respondent finance chairman to carry out the responsibilities of the respondent selectmen under the facts of this case.

 

            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 with respect to the respondent chairman of the board of finance.

 

            2.  Henceforth the respondent selectmen shall strictly comply with the provisions of 1-21(a), G.S.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 24, 1992.

 

                                                                 

                                    Karen J.Haggett

                                    Clerk of the Commission

 

Docket #FIC 91-336                           Page 3

 

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:

Michael A. Soriero

242 Harris Road

Sterling, CT  06377

 

Sterling First Selectman

Sterling Town Hall

1114 Plainfield Pike

P.O. Box 157

Oneco, CT  06373-0157

 

Sterling Board of Selectmen

Sterling Town Hall

1114 Plainfield Pike

P.O. BOX 157

Oneco, CT  06373-0157

 

Chairman, Sterling Board of Finance

Sterling Twon Hall

1114 Plainfield Pike

P.O. BOx 157

Oneco, CT 06373-0157

 

                                                                 

                                    Karen J.Haggett

                                    Clerk of the Commission