FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision
against Docket #FIC 93-284
Bureau of State Building Inspector, State of Connecticut, Department
of Public Safety; and Division of Fire and Building Safety, State of
Connecticut, Department of Public Safety,
Respondents June 8, 1994
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 1, 1994, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared and presented testimony and argument on the complaint. This case was consolidated for the purposes of hearing with docket #FIC 93-278, James Quattro v. Bureau of State Building Inspector and Division of Fire and Building Safety.
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 letter of complaint filed October 12, 1993, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that his October 4, 1993 request to inspect certain records had been denied and that illegal preconditions for access to the records had been imposed by the respondents.
3. By letter of complaint filed October 13, 1993, the complainant again appealed to the Commission, essentially repeating the allegations of his October 12, 1993 complaint.
4. It is found that the complainant visited the offices of the respondents on October 4, 1993.
5. It is found that the complainant failed to identify with reasonable clarity the records he sought.
6. It is found that the respondent attempted to assist the complainant in clarifying his request during his October 4, 1993 visit.
Docket #FIC 93-284 Page 2
7. It is found that the complainant ultimately named certain types of records, such as "appeals/contested case proceedings," and "clarifications/interpretations of the state building code" that he was interested in.
8. It is found that the respondents explained to the complainant that many boxes of documents fell within those categories, and that different records were stored in different locations; and provided the complainant with a log book that indexed the documents, so that the complainant could identify which particular records he sought.
9. It is found that the respondents requested that the complainant make an appointment if he wished to inspect all of the appeals or contested case files, or all of any similarly voluminous records, but that the complainant declined to do so.
10. It is found that the complainant left the offices of the respondents without requesting any additional records after he was shown the log book.
11. It is found that the complainant was never denied access to or copies of any records.
12. It is found that the complainant was encouraged to discuss his request with various employees of the respondents, and to write down his request, all in a good faith effort by the respondents to identify what records the complainant wanted to see.
13. It is also found that under the circumstances of this case no illegal preconditions were imposed upon the complainant's access to any records.
14. The complainant nonetheless maintains that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act, and that the respondents used the names of certain individuals as "coded access signals" to deny him records.
15. It is found, however, that the complainant's own testimony in support of his allegations was evasive and inconsistent, and that the complainant was not a credible witness.
Docket #FIC 93-284 Page 3
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 June 8, 1994.
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 93-284 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:
Mr. James Quattro
17 Laurel Street
East Hartford, CT 066108
Bureau of State Building Inspector, State of Connecticut.
Department of Public Safety; and Division of Fire and Building Safety, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety
c/o Madeline A. Melchionne, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission