FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision
against Docket #FIC 92-121
Southbury Training School,
Respondent March 10, 1993
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 6, 1992, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.
Docket #s FIC 92-122, Anthony Muhammad v. Deputy Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Retardation, FIC 92-123, Anthony Muhammad v. Abuse Investigation Division, State of Connecticut, Office of Protection and Advocacy, and FIC 92-124, Anthony Muhammad v. Connie Stanley, Hearing Officer [sic], State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Retardation, were consolidated for hearing with the above-captioned matter.
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 letters dated March 9, 11, 12 and 16, 1992, the complainant made written requests to the respondent's personnel for copies of records relating to: (a) his dismissal from employment at the respondent school, and (b) the grievance that he filed as a result of that dismissal.
Docket #FIC 92-121 Page 2
3. Specifically, the complainant requested that the respondent provide him with a copy of:
(a) the employment agreement of Gary Wyrebek
(hereinafter "Wyrebek agreement");
(b) transcripts of a December 10, 1990 hearing
involving Loudermill charges (hereinafter
(c) the complainant's waiver of union representation
form (hereinafter "waiver form");
(d) records of voluntary statements taken on or
about December 5, 1990, as part of a police
report about an incident of abuse allegedly
involving the complainant (hereinafter
(e) any internal memoranda, reports or other records
related to the complainant's dismissal and
grievance (hereinafter "memoranda");
(f) medical log notes written by employee
Gary Wyrebek for December 3, 1990 at
approximately 10:00 p.m. (hereinafter "log
(g) minutes of a December 4, 1990 meeting between
the complainant, Gina Furuno and Maureen
Carpenter (hereinafter " minutes").
4. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on April 9, 1992, the complainant alleged that the respondent failed to comply with, or respond to his March 1992 records requests.
5. The respondent concedes that the complainant's requests were received, referred to the State Office of Labor Relations and no formal written response regarding compliance was provided to the complainant until May 7, 1992.
Docket #FIC 92-121 Page 3
6. In its May 7, 1992 letter the respondent informed the complainant that it was advised by the State Office of Labor Relations that the requested documents were exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(9) and 1-19b(b)(1), G.S. The complainant was also informed that his attorney, Donald Smart, might be in possession of some of the requested records.
7. By letter dated October 2, 1992, the respondent agreed to provide the complainant with a copy of the Wyrebek agreement and the waiver form, but also claimed that the remainder of the requested records were exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(4), G.S., as well as 1-19b(b)(1), G.S.
8. Section 1-19(b)(9), G.S., exempts from required disclosure "records, reports and statements of strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining."
9. It is found that the respondent failed to prove the applicability of 1-19(b)(9), G.S., to any of the requested records at issue.
10. The complainant concedes that at the time of his records requests he was involved in grievance proceedings concerning his dismissal from the respondent school, and that arbitration proceedings are currently pending. The complainant requested the records for use in the aforementioned proceedings.
11. Section 1-19b(b)(1), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
[n]othing in sections 1-15, 1-18a, 1-19 to 1-19b, inclusive and 1-21 to 1-21k, inclusive, shall be deemed in any manner to (1) ... affect the rights of litigants, including parties to administrative proceedings, under the laws of discovery of this state ....
12. It is found that no transcripts exist.
13. It is found that under the facts of this case an order of this Commission requiring disclosure of the records requested by the complainant, and not agreed to be provided by the respondent, would affect the rights of litigants under the laws of discovery of this state.
Docket #FIC 92-121 Page 4
14. It is concluded, therefore, that as a matter of comity and in accordance with the provisions of 1-19b(b)(1), G.S., the Commission should not order disclosure of the requested records not agreed to be provided by the respondent.
15. It is further found that the foregoing conclusion makes it unnecessary to consider any additional claims of the respondent for withholding the documents.
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 with respect to the information requested in paragraphs 3(d) through 3(g), inclusive, of the findings, above.
2. If it has not already done so, the respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with copies of the Wyrebek agreement and waiver form, as agreed. The respondent shall bear the cost of copying and mailing those records to the complainant.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 10, 1993.
Debra L. Rembowski
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 92-121 Page 5
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:
226 Worth Street
Bridgeport, CT 06605
Southbury Training School
c/o Asst. Atty. Gen. James P. Welsh
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105
Debra L. Rembowski
Acting Clerk of the Commission