FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision
Anne S. Rozanski,
against Docket #FIC 91-203
State of Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities,
Respondent July 8, 1992
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 7, 1991, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. At the hearing on this matter, the parties stipulated that the all of the exhibits and testimony in this matter be adopted as exhibits and testimony in Docket #FIC 91-236.
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 dated July 19, 1991 and filed July 22, 1991, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent violated certain portions of the Freedom of Information Act.
3. At the hearing, the parties stipulated that the only issues remaining for decision by the Commission concerned the complainant's allegations that the respondent denied her attorney's telephone request to review certain records and required him to put his request in writing, that the respondent failed to provide copies of non-evidentiary records, and that the respondent held a meeting of its Enforcement Committee that was not in compliance with 1-21, G.S.
4. It is found that the complainant's attorney's law office contacted the respondent's Hartford office on June 18, 1991 and asked to review the respondent's case file concerning a discrimination case filed by the complainant.
5. It is found that the respondent indicated a preference for a written request, and indicated that the records could not be produced for inspection on the following day because they would first have to be reviewed by the respondent's counsel.
Docket #FIC 91-203 Page 2
6. It is found that the complainant's complaint was postmarked not earlier than July 19, 1991.
7. It is concluded therefore that the Commission lacks jurisdiction to consider that portion of the complainant's allegations concerning the June 18, 1991 denial of the request to inspect records, pursuant to 1-21i(b), G.S.
8. With respect to that portion of the complaint concerning non-evidentiary records, it is found that the respondent by letter dated July 1, 1991 denied the complainant's attorney's request for those portions of the complainant's case file that consisted of non-evidentiary matters, such as agency work product.
9. It is found that the only documents in the complainant's CHRO case file at issue are (a) an investigator's memorandum discussing the complainant's May 6, 1991 response to the respondent's April 24, 1991 preliminary draft finding of lack of sufficient evidence to support the initial discrimination complaint; (b) a checklist indicating the steps taken by the parties to the CHRO complaint and by CHRO; (c) an investigative plan, which briefly describes such issues as the type of complaint, type of allegation, protected class, theory of discrimination, defenses and rebuttals, disputed issues, and disposition of the complaint; and (d) a memorandum relating an investigator's review of the case with the complainant's attorney.
10. It is concluded that the documents described in paragraph 9, 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), G.S.
12. Section 46a-83(b), as in effect at all times applicable to complainant's CHRO complaint, provides:
No commissioner or investigator may disclose, except to the parties or their representatives, 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. Each party and his representative shall have the right to inspect and copy documents, statements of witnesses and other evidence pertaining to his complaint, except as otherwise provided by federal law or any other provision of the general statutes.
13. It is found that the documents described in paragraph 9, above, are not statements of witnessess or other evidence pertaining to the complainant's CHRO complaint.
Docket #FIC 91-203 Page 3
14. It is concluded therefore that the respondent did not violate 1-15 or 1-19(a), G.S., by refusing to disclose the documents described in paragraph 9, above.
15. With respect to the complainant's allegations concerning a meeting of the respondent's Enforcement Committee concerning the complainant's CHRO complaint, it is found that the Enforcement Committee did not meet concerning the complainant's CHRO complaint.
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 July 8, 1992.
Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 91-203 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 J. Boodman, Esq.
810 Bedford Avenue
Stamford, CT 06901
Philip A. Murphy, Jr., Esq.
90 Washington Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Clerk of the Commission