In the Matter of a Complaint by                        Final Decision


John G. Keefe,




            against              Docket #FIC 92-21


Labor Relations Division, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety, Division of State Police,


                        Respondent                  December 23, 1992


            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 28, 1992, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. 


            Pursuant to 1-21j-27 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, the motion of Tracy McHugh (hereinafter "intervening party") for party status is hereby granted.


            After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:


            1.  The respondent division is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.


            2.  By letter dated September 23, 1991, the complainant requested that the respondent division provide him with a copy of Connecticut State Police (hereinafter "CSP") internal affairs investigation report, case number IA-91-006 (hereinafter "IA Report").


            3.  It is found that the IA Report concerns allegations made by the intervening party regarding wrongdoing or improper conduct by the complainant, who is an employee of the Department of Transportation (hereinafter "DOT"), and unnamed employees of CSP.  The IA Report was submitted to the Commission for in camera inspection and has been designated as in camera document #92-21-1.


            4.  It is also found that the IA Report concluded that the allegations regarding the CSP employees were unfounded and that the CSP lacked jurisdiction over the DOT employee.


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            5.  In response to the complainant's September 23, 1991 letter of request, by letter dated September 27, 1991, the respondent division advised the complainant that the division was in the process of seeking "advice and counsel" regarding compliance with the request.


            6.  It is found that by letters dated November 21, 1991, the respondent division notified the complainant and the intervening party that each of them had requested a copy of the IA Report and that any objection to disclosure must be made by December 9, 1991.  Both the complainant and the intervening party objected to disclosure of the IA Report to the other.


            7.  It is found, however, that no objection to disclosure was filed on behalf of the CSP employees concerned.


            8.  By letters dated December 30, 1991,  the respondent division denied both the complainant's and the intervening party's requests for copies of the IA Report.


            9.  By letter dated January 7, 1992, and filed on January 16, 1992, the complainant appealed to the Commission from the respondent division's denial of his request for the IA Report.


            10.  It is found that the IA Report is a public record within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.


            11.  The respondent division maintains that the requested IA Report is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S., which permits the nondisclosure of "personnel, medical and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy."


            12.  Specifically, the respondent division maintains that disclosure of the IA Report would constitute an invasion of the intervening party's privacy.


            13.  In addition, the intervening party objected to disclosure on the ground that:  a) at the time she spoke to the CSP regarding her allegations, she was "assured that her anonymity would be protected," and b) she has been the subject of harassment, allegedly by the complainant, and therefore has concerns for her personal safety if the IA Report were disclosed to him.


            14.  The respondent division concedes that internal affairs investigation reports have generally been publicly disclosed and it is found that the respondent division did not allege or assert any privacy or safety concerns on the part of the CSP employees who were implicated by, or questioned concerning, the intervening party's allegations.


Docket #FIC 92-21                                       Page 3


            15.  It is also found that the respondent division did not allege or assert the privacy concerns of the complainant, a DOT employee who was the focus of the internal affairs inquiry.


            16.  It is further found that although the IA Report may be a personnel record as to the CSP employees concerned, it is not a personnel, medical or similar file, within the meaning of 1-19(b)(2), G.S., as to either the complainant or the intervening party.


            17.  Consequently, it is concluded that 1-19(b)(2), G.S., does not exempt the IA Report from disclosure.


            18.  To the extent that the respondent division assured the intervening party that her anonymity would be protected, it is found that that issue has been rendered moot because at all times material to this complaint, the complainant had knowledge of the intervening party's role in the initiation of the investigation resulting in the creation of the IA Report.


            19.  Thus, it is concluded that any assurance or promise of anonymity or confidentiality by the respondent division neither provides an exemption to the disclosure of the IA Report nor establishes, in itself, the reasonableness of an expectation of privacy.


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


            1.  The respondent division shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of the following portions of the IA Report:


                        a)  pages 1 and 3 of the first three pages of the IA Report, dated January 22, 1991;


                        b)  pages 1 through 3 of the "action taken" section of the IA Report, with the heading "action taken - case number IA91-006;" and


                        c)  Exhibits D, E, F, G, H and J of the IA Report.


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            2.  In its discretion, the Commission declines to order the disclosure of the remaining portions of the IA Report.


            3.  Henceforth the respondent division shall fully comply with the open records provisions set forth in 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.


            4.  The Commission notes that in addition to the rights to disclosure of public records under the Freedom of Information Act, the complainant and the intervening party may have rights to access the IA Report under the Personal Data Act, 4-190, et seq., G.S.


Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of December 23, 1992.



                                    Debra L. Rembowski

                                    Acting Clerk of the Commission


Docket #FIC 92-21                                       Page 5





John G. Keefe

633 Prospect Avenue

West Hartford, CT 06105


Labor Relations Division, State of Connecticut Department of Public Safety Division of State Police

c/o Assistant Attorney General Margaret Quilter Chapple

110 Sherman Street

Hartford, CT 06105


Tracy McHugh

c/o Attorney James A. Wade

Robinson & Cole

One Commercial Plaza

Hartford, CT 06103-3597



                                    Debra L. Rembowski

                                    Acting Clerk of the Commission