FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Robert D. Fitzgerald,  

Complainant

 

against

Docket #FIC 1996-301

Robert C. Moore, Benefits Manager, Office of Workers’ Compensation, City of Bridgeport,  

Respondent

March 12, 1997

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 7, 1996, at which time the complainant appeared, and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The respondent failed to appear.

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 August 12, 1996 and filed with the Commission on August 13, 1996, the complainant appealed the respondent’s failure to fully comply with the Commission’s final decision and order in Docket #FIC 95-264, Robert D. Fitzgerald v. Benefits Coordinator, Bridgeport Office on Workers’ Compensation, and Director, Bridgeport Benefits and Labor Relations Department ("FIC 95-264"), and requested the imposition of a civil penalty against the individual respondent.

3. The Commission takes administrative notice of the record and the July 10, 1996 final decision in FIC 95-264, wherein the Commission ordered the respondent to immediately provide the complainant with a copy of the contract between the city of Bridgeport ("city") and Reliastar , formerly known as National Northwestern Life Insurance Company, ("insurer"), concerning the rate of life insurance coverage for former city employees such as the complainant ("contract").

4. It is found that with cover letter dated July 31, 1996, the respondent provided the complainant with a copy of the contract, and advised him that the document amending and increasing life insurance coverage for those insured under the contract ("amendment") had not been received from the insurer, but a copy of the amendment would be provided to the complainant "as soon as received".

5. It is found that the respondent’s July 31, 1996 tender of partial compliance did not comply with the Commission’s order in FIC 95-264.

6. It is found that immediately after receiving the respondent’s July 31, 1996 letter, the complainant contacted the insurer concerning the amendment, and was advised that the respondent had already been provided with all records concerning the complainant’s life insurance policy.

7. It is found that in August and September 1996, the complainant made repeated oral and written requests to the respondent for a copy of the amendment.

8. It is found that on or about September 25, 1996 the respondent and complainant met at the respondent’s office to discuss the amendment and other business, and a copy of the amendment was on the respondent’s desk.

9. It is found that the respondent refused the complainant’s oral request for a copy of the amendment at the September 25, 1996 meeting, but promised to mail him a copy of the document.

10. It is found that by letters dated October 18, 1996 and November 1, 1996, the complainant repeated his request to the respondent for a copy of the amendment.

11. It is concluded that the respondent’s deliberate failure to fully and immediately comply with the Commission’s order in FIC 95-264, violated 1-21k and the provisions of 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S.

12. It is found that the respondent’s failure to fully comply with the Commission’s order in FIC 95-264 was without reasonable grounds, and is so egregious as to warrant the imposition of an appropriate remedy under 1-21i(b), G.S.

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

1. The respondent shall immediately provide the complainant with a copy of the amendment, free of charge.

2. Within forty-five days of the notice of final decision in this case the respondent shall remit to this Commission a civil penalty in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00).

3. The Commission warns the respondent that should he fail to comply with this order within the time frame set forth in paragraph 2, above, the Commission shall refer this matter to the state’s attorney’s office for criminal prosecution in accordance with the provisions of 1-21k, G.S.

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:

Robert D. Fitzgerald
21 Old Farm Road
Oxford, CT 06478

Robert C. Moore, Benefits Manager, Office of Workers’ Compensation, City of Bridgeport
c/o John H. Barton, Esq.
Office of City Attorney
1087 Broad Street, 3rd Floor
Bridgeport, CT 06604-4260

__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1996-301/FD/eal/03201997