FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
against Docket #FIC 94-240
Joseph M. Suggs, Jr., Treasurer, State of Connecticut,
Office of the Treasurer,
Respondent April 26, 1995
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 16, 1995, 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 of complaint dated July 19, 1994 and filed with the Commission on July 20, 1994, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information ("FOI") Act by:
a. denying the complainant access to inspect the originals of certain records including original cancelled checks pertaining to the complainant's Workers Compensation claim;
b. failing to provide the complainant with a written response to the complainant's May 24, 1994 request for the date, time, location and length of time that the respondent would provide the complainant with access to inspect the records, described in paragraph 2a., above; and
c. failure of the respondent to provide the complainant with prompt access to inspect records previously ordered disclosed to the complainant by the FOI Commission in Docket #s FIC 93-224 and 94-25.
Docket #FIC 94-240 Page 2
3. The Commission takes administrative notice of the record and decisions in Docket #s FIC 93-224 and 94-25, David Cummings v. Second Injury Fund, State of Connecticut, Office of the State Treasurer.
4. It is found that the complainant, by letter dated May 24, 1994, requested from the respondent access to inspect the the originals of records, as described in paragraph 2a., above.
5. It is found that in response to the May 24 request the respondent's assistant, acting on the respondent's behalf, informed the complainant in a memorandum dated June 6, 1994 that he could inspect his "file" on any one of four dates during the month of June, 1994. The June 6, 1994 memorandum also informed the complainant that the inspection location was 10 Griffin Road, Windsor and the inspection time would be "8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m."
6. It is found that following the respondent's June 6 response the complainant visited the respondent's office on June 21, 1994 and was at that time allowed to inspect the records contained in his file.
7. It is found however, that the file and records which the complainant was given access to inspect did not include the originals of records requested in his May 24 letter to the respondent.
8. It is found that the original cancelled checks sought by the complainant are maintained in a state repository situated at a different location from the Griffin Road office identified as the inspection location by the respondent in its June 6, 1994 memorandum to the complainant, described in paragraph 5, above.
9. It is found that the original records sought by the complainant are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.
10. It is found that the respondent failed to provide the complainant with access to the originals of records which are presently maintained in the state repository, referred to in paragraph 8, above.
11. It is therefore concluded that the respondent violated the complainant's right by failing to provide him with access to inspect the original records sought in his May 24, 1994 request, and referred to in paragraphs 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10, above.
Docket #FIC 94-240 Page 3
12. At the hearing in this matter, the respondent made clear its willingness to provide the complainant with access to inspect the originals of records sought and stated that it would arrange a date for such inspection accordingly.
13. The complainant contends that the respondent's failure to provide him with access to inspect the original records is a violation of the Commission's order in Docket #s FIC 93-224 and 94-25.
14. It is found however, that in Docket #s FIC 93-224 and 94-25 the Commission ordered that the complainant be provided with copies of records sought then, and the Commission neither addressed the specific issue nor ordered that the complainant be provided with access to inspect the originals of records.
15. With respect to the allegation described in paragraph 2b., above, it is found that the respondent complied fully with the complainant's request as evidenced by the respondent's June memorandum, described in paragraph 5, above.
16. With respect to the allegation described in paragraph 2c., above, it is found that in light of the Commission's finding in paragraph 14, above, this allegation is without merit.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record in the above-captioned complaint:
1. The respondent shall within thirty days from the mailing of the notice of final decision in this matter, provide the complainant with access to inspect the originals of records sought, as described in his May 24, 1994 request, and including the originals of all cancelled checks.
2. With respect to the allegations described in paragraphs 2b. and 2c., of the findings above, the complaint is hereby dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 26, 1995.
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 94-240 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:
100 Boatswains Way #504
Chelsea, MA 02150
JOSEPH M. SUGGS, JR., TREASURER, STATE OF CONNECTICUT, OFFICE OF THE TREASURER
c/o Brewster Blackall, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
55 Elm Street
P.O. Box 120
Hartford, CT 06141-0120
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission