FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Frank Juliano and Connecticut Post,  

Complainant

 

against

Docket #FIC 1996-224

Executive Director, Milford Housing Authority, and Chairman, Milford Housing Authority,  

Respondent

March 12, 1997

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 15, 1996, at which time the complainants 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. It is found that by oral request on May 23, 1996, and written request dated May 29, 1996, the complainants requested that the respondent executive director provide them with access to invoices for the renovation of four apartments owned by the Milford Housing Authority ("MHA").

3. It is found that on or about June 3, 1996, the complainant Juliano telephoned the MHA office and was told by the respondent executive director that all of the bills for the renovations had not been submitted, but that he could have access to the available invoices.

4. It is found that subsequent to his telephone conversation with the complainant the respondent executive director spoke to the respondent chairman, who is an attorney, and he advised him not to provide the complainant with access to, or copies of the requested records before the MHA’s June 11, 1996 meeting.

5. It is found that on or about June 3, 1996, the complainant Juliano went to the MHA office and was told by the respondent executive director that the requested records would not be provided until the MHA’s June 11, 1996 meeting.

6. By letter of complaint dated June 5, 1996 and filed with the Commission on June 10, 1996, the complainants appealed the respondents’ denial of access to the requested records.

7. It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.

8. Section 1-19(a), G.S., in relevant part provides that:

… all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law … 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 [which also provides for a prompt copy] …

9. It is found that the respondents provided the complainants with the requested records at the MHA’s June 11, 1996 meeting.

10. It is concluded that the respondents violated the provisions of 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to promptly provide the complainants with access to the requested records.

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

1. Henceforth the respondents shall strictly comply with the provisions for providing prompt access to public records under 1-19(a), G.S.

2. Within thirty days of the date of mailing the notice of final decision in this case the respondents shall contact the Commission for the purpose of scheduling an educational workshop for themselves and the MHA on the Freedom of Information Act.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 12, 1997.

__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission

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:

Frank Juliano and Connecticut Post
New Haven County News Bureau
58 River Street
Milford, CT 06460

Executive Director, Milford Housing Authority; and Chairman, Milford Housing Authority
PO Box 4123
Wildemere Beach
Milford, CT 06460
Attn: Keith Rubenstein

__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1996-224/FD/eal/03201997