FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
John Capsis and Westport News,
against Docket #FIC 94-73
Westport Police Department,
Respondent August 24, 1994
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 21, 1994, at which time the complainants and the respondent 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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
2. By letter of complaint filed March 7, 1994, the complainants appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent refused to release certain documents relating to charges of sexual harassment made by a town employee against one or more elected town officials.
3. It is found that the complainants by letter dated March 2, 1994 requested any records concerning certain charges of sexual harassment.
4. It is found that the respondent denied the complainants' request.
5. It is found that the records in the custody of the respondent that are responsive to the complainants' request consist of an incident report.
6. It is found that the record described in paragraph 5, above, is a public record within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.
7. The complainants maintain that the requested record should be disclosed because it concerns allegations against a high-ranking public official.
8. The respondent maintains that the requested record is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(3)(F) and 1-20c, G.S.
Docket #FIC 93-73 Page 2
9. Section 1-19(b)(3)(F), G.S., provides that nothing in the Freedom of Information Act requires disclosure of:
records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of ... (F) uncorroborated allegations subject to destruction pursuant to section 1-20c ....
10. Section 1-20c, G.S., provides:
Except for records the retention of which is otherwise controlled by law or regulation, records of law enforcement agencies consisting of uncorroborated allegations that an individual has engaged in criminal activity shall be reviewed by the law enforcement agency one year after the creation of such records. If the existence of the alleged criminal activity cannot be corroborated within ninety days of the commencement of such review, the law enforcement agency shall destroy such records.
11. It is found that the requested incident report is a record of a law enforcement agency consisting of uncorroborated allegations that an individual has engaged in criminal activity.
12. It is found that the incident report is subject to destruction pursuant to 1-20c, G.S.
13. It is found that the incident report was compiled in connection with the investigation or detection of crime.
14. It is found that disclosure of the incident report would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of uncorroborated allegations subject to destruction pursuant to 1-20c, G.S.
15. It is concluded that the incident report is permissibly exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(3)(F), G.S.
Docket #FIC 93-73 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 hereby dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 24, 1994.
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 94-73 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:
JOHN CAPSIS AND WESTPORT NEWS
c/o Kathleen Kiley
136 Main Street
Westport, CT 06880
WESTPORT POLICE DEPARTMENT
c/o Michael P.A. Williams, Esq.
Marsh, Day and Calhoun
2507 Post Road
Southport, CT 06490-1259
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission