FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision
Frank X. LoSacco,
against Docket #FIC 93-162
New Haven Police Department,
Respondent January 26, 1994
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 14, 1993, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. Upon the order of this Commission, the respondent filed a cover letter with the affidavit of Gerald M. Antunes, which this Commission on its own motion makes an exhibit in the instant case.
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 filed with this Commission on June 9, 1993, the complainant alleged that the respondent violated the provisions of the FOI Act by failing to grant access to certain records concerning a prisoner named Melvin Jones.
3. It is found that by letter dated May 27, 1993 and an attachment thereto entitled "Defendant's authorization to his investigator" dated May 18, 1993, the complainant requested of the respondent access to the an exhaustive list of all records, in any form, relating to the homicide of Wayne Curtis on October 17, 1990, case no. 114015. The request also included receipts, clothing, projectiles, maps, and sketches, among other items.
4. It is found that those records the respondent does have that are relevant to the above-referenced request consist of tape recordings, reports and statements only.
5. It is found that those records identified in paragraph 4, above, are public records within the meaning of 1-18(a)(d), G.S.
6. It is found that by letter dated June 2, 1993, the respondent denied the complainant's request, claiming that the
Docket #FIC 93-162 Page 2
Wayne Curtis homicide case is still pending on appeal.
7. The respondent claims that all documents in its possession requested by the complainant are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(3), 1-19(b)(4), and 1-19b(b), G.S.
8. It is found that other than the generalized claims of counsel, the record is devoid of evidence indicating that disclosure of the records at issue would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of (A) the identity of informants not otherwise known, (B) information to be used in a prospective law enforcement action prejudicial to such action, (C) investigatory techniques not otherwise known to the general public, (D) arrest records of a juvenile, or (E) the name and address of the victim of a sexual assault, or injury or risk of injury, or impairing of morals under 53-21, G.S., or an attempt thereof or (F) uncorroborated allegations subject to destruction pursuant to 1-20c, G.S.
9. It is also found that the respondent has failed to prove that it is a party to any pending claim or litigation with respect to the records at issue.
10. It is accordingly concluded that the requested records are not exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(4), G.S.
11. The respondent has also failed to produce evidence that any discovery order has been entered that seals the records requested of the respondent from public access.
12. Accordingly, it is concluded that the requested records are not exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19b(b), G.S., under the facts of this case.
13. The respondent also claims that the case of William H. Gifford et al. v. FOI Commission, et al., 227 Conn. 641 (1993), exempts the records at issue from disclosure as reports prepared in connection with an arrest during the pendency of the related criminal prosecution.
14. It is found that on October 20, 1990, Melvin Jones was arrested for the murder of Wayne Curtis.
15. It is found that the criminal trial concerning the case outlined in paragraph 14, above, has been concluded.
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16. It accordingly must be concluded that the requested records no longer fall within the catagory of records exempt from disclosure under the Gifford case, supra, and the respondent is therefore in violation of the provisions of the FOI Act 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 respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of the records more specifically identified in paragraph 3 of the findings, above.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of January 26, 1994.
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission
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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:
Mr. Frank X. LoSacco
P.O. Box 1125
Middletown, CT 06457
New Haven Police Department
c/o Linsley J. Barbato, Esq.
Office of Corporation Counsel
770 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission