FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Ethan Book, Jr.,
against Docket #FIC 94-268
Town of Fairfield,
Respondent February 8, 1995
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 10, 1994, at which time the complainant 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 dated July 7, 1994, the complainant requested from the respondent copies of:
a. "all correspondence, telephone messages, notes of any and all conversations and listing of contacts of conversations relating to [the complainant], to New England Limousine Service, or to the livery application of New England Limousine Service that are related to the function of the First Selectman since January 1, 1992"; and
b. "all correspondence, telephone messages, notes of any and all conversations and listing of contacts of conversations relating to the tax status of properties owned by Trinity Baptist Church since January 1, 1994."
3. It is concluded that to the extent the respondent maintains records pertaining to the complainant's request, such records are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.
Docket #FIC 94-268 Page 2
4. Under a cover letter dated July 11, 1994, an assistant to the respondent's first selectman provided the complainant with copies of certain records that were responsive to the complainant's request. In response to the complainant's request described in paragraph 2a., above, the complainant was specifically provided with a copy of a letter dated June 11, 1994 to State Representative John G. Metsopoulos from the complainant. In response to the complainant's request described in paragraph 2b., above, the complainant was specifically provided with copies of five letters, all of which were dated between May 3, 1994 and May 19, 1994.
5. By letter to the assistant referred to in paragraph 4, above, dated July 14, 1994, the complainant maintained that the respondent had not fully complied with his request since the respondent failed to include: copies of two letters he had delivered to the respondent's tax assessor pertaining to Trinity Baptist Church, dated April 11 and 18, 1994; other correspondence between Representative Metsopolous and the complainant; and a notice of hearing before the State Department of Transportation. The complainant also inquired about the existence of, and sought access to, an "Ethan Book" file maintained by the respondent.
6. By letter dated July 21, 1994, in response to the complainant's July 14, 1994 letter, the town attorney for the respondent informed the complainant that the respondent had provided all of the records maintained in its files relative to the complainant's July 7, 1994 request. The town attorney also instructed the complainant to make an appointment to review the additional file he requested in his July 14, 1994 letter.
7. In material part, 1-19(a), G.S., provides:
Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency . . . shall be public records and every person shall have the right to inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours or to receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-15.
8. In material part, 1-15(a), G.S., provides:
Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.
9. It is found that the respondent searched and provided copies of the records that existed in its files that were responsive to the complainant's July 7, 1994 records request in a reasonable and prompt manner.
Docket #FIC 94-268 Page 3
10. It is therefore concluded that under the facts of this case the respondent did not violate the provisions of 1-15(a) 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 complaint is hereby dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of February 8, 1995.
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 94-268 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:
ETHAN BOOK, JR.
P.O. Box 1385
Fairfield, CT 06430
TOWN OF FAIRFIELD
c/o Michael P.A. Williams, Esq.
Marsh, Day & Calhoun
2507 Post Raod
Southport, CT 06490-1259
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission