In the Matter of a Complaint by            Final Decision


Roseann Kadyszewski,




            against              Docket #FIC 93-319


Superintendent of Schools, Canterbury Public Schools and

Business Manager, Canterbury Public Schools,


                        Respondents                 March 9, 1994


            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 21, 1993, at which time the complainant and respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts 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 letters of request hand-delivered to the respondents on November 12, 1993 and sent to them via certified mail on November 13, 1993 (hereinafter "November request"), the complainant requested access to and/or copies of the following:


            (a)        the respondent superintendent's contract, including all salary, medical benefit, and other compensation or reimbursement information;


            (b)        the respondent superintendent's resume and list of references that were submitted at the time of the application for employment;


            (c)        the Canterbury Board of Education's (hereinafter "board") compact budget reports from January 1993 to the present;


            (d)        financial records of any savings accounts under the control of the board or respondent business manager containing public funds; and


Docket #FIC 93-319                                     Page 2


            (e)        the unedited tape recording of the board's meeting held November 9, 1993.


            3.         By letters of complaint and amended complaint to the Commission each dated November 23, 1993, and filed with the Commission on November 23, 1993 by facsimile transmission, and December 1, 1993 by regular mail, the complainant alleged that the respondents failed to comply with her November request.


            4.         It is found that on November 18, 1993 the complainant visited the respondent superintendent's office in order to review the requested records.


            5.         It is found that the complainant was informed that the respondent business manager was on vacation and therefore she would be unable to view the requested records.  The complainant was instructed to telephone the respondent business manager on or about November 22, 1993 to make an appointment.


            6.         It is found that when the complainant telephoned on November 22, 1993, to make an appointment to review the requested records, as instructed, she was informed by the respondent business manager that without the respondent superintendent's authorization she could not have access to the requested records and the superintendent was not available.


            7.         By reply letter to the complainant dated November 23, 1993, the respondent superintendent indicated his intention to fully comply with the complainant's records request.


            8. It is found that on or about November 29, 1993, the complainant received partial compliance with her records request.


            9.         At the hearing on this contested case, the only records still at issue were the items identified in paragraphs 2(b) and 2(d) of the findings, above.


            10.       It is found that the respondent superintendent provided the complainant with a copy of the resume and references contained in his personnel file maintained by the board.


            11.       However, the complainant alleged that the resume and reference information that were provided to her in response to her November request were dissimilar to resume and reference information concerning the respondent superintendent which had been furnished to her by another source.  Specifically, the complainant alleged that the reference information provided to her on or about November 29, 1993, was actually listed on the superintendent's resume, whereas the resume provided by another source had the reference information attached to the resume.


Docket #FIC 93-319                                     Page 3


            12.       It is found that while the reference information provided to the complainant in compliance with her November request might be placed on, or affixed to the respondent superintendent's resume differently, there is no allegation that the content or substance of either the respondent's resume or his references were in any way dissimilar to information that the complainant received from another source.


            13.       The respondents conceded that the records requested, including the financial records identified in paragraph 2(d) of the findings, above, are public documents within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.


            14.       The respondents maintain, however, that they were initially uncertain of the scope of the complainant's request for financial records, and that subsequent to the complainant's request the board instructed them not to disclose any financial records until the conclusion of a self-conducted audit and investigation.


            15.       The complainant concedes that her records request might not have clearly identified the financial records she was seeking.  At the hearing, with the consent of the respondents, the complainant clarified and limited her records request to the board's or respondent business manager's checking account records, including the "Ed Business Account" records, and all cancelled checks.


            16.       It is found that the minutes of the board's special meeting of November 23, 1993, state that the respondent superintendent was directed to "investigate with the [b]usiness [a]dministrator and the auditors the Ed Business ... and  Activity Funds Account[s], and any other financial policies  ... and report back to the board on December 7, 1993..."


            17.       The respondent superintendent conceded that at the board's December 7 and 14, 1993 meetings there was no report made concerning the financial issues raised at the November 23, 1993 meeting.


            18.       It is found that the respondents have failed to allege or prove the applicability of any exemption to the disclosure of the financial records identified in paragraph 2(d), as amended by paragraph 15 of the findings, above.


Docket #FIC 93-319                                     Page 4


            19.       At the hearing on this matter the respondent superintendent indicated that it was his hope and expectation that the board's in-house audit and investigation into suspected wrongdoing regarding certain accounts will be concluded in early January 1994, at which time he will immediately provide the complainant with the copies of the financial records that she is seeking.


            20.       It is concluded that the respondents failed to promptly provide the complainant with the records that she requested, and therefore violated the disclosure and access provisions of 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.


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


            1.         The respondent shall immediately provide the complainant with copies of those financial records identified in paragraph 15 of the findings, above.  Copies of the records shall be provided at no cost to the complainant.


            2.         Henceforth the respondents shall strictly comply with the disclosure provisions and time requirements of 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.


Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 9, 1994.



                                    Elizabeth A. Leifert

                                    Acting Clerk of the Commission


Docket #FIC 93-319                                     Page 5





Mrs. Roseann Kadyszewski

30 Elmdale Road

Canterbury, CT 06331


Superintendent of Schools

Canterbury Public Schools

45 Westminster Road

P.O. Box 28

Canterbury, CT 06331


Business Manager

Canterbury Public Schools

45 Westminster Road

P.O. Box 28

Canterbury, CT 06331



                                    Elizabeth A. Leifert

                                    Acting Clerk of the Commission