FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Carletta Wright,  

Complainant

 

against

Docket #FIC 1996-537

Director, Organizational Development, City of New Haven,  

Respondent

June 11, 1997

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 7, 1997, at which time the complainant appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint, however, 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. It is found that by letters to the respondent dated September 16, 1996, and October 8, 1996, (which were copied to the city’s corporation counsel), the complainant requested that she be provided with a copy of the list of all employee and position reclassifications during the past three years ("records requests"), containing the following information:

the employee’s name;
date of the reclassification request;
date of the reclassification approval;
source of the reclassification request (e.g., employee, department or other);
the position name, salary range and number of promotional steps before and after its reclassification; and
the salary change for the reclassified position.

The complainant also requested the same information for employees who were transferred or changed departments during the last three years.

3. It is found that by letter to the complainant dated October 10, 1996, the respondent advised the complainant that her records requests had been received and forwarded to the city’s corporation counsel for review and response.

4. By letter of complaint dated October 15, 1996, and filed with the Commission on October 18, 1996, the complainant appealed the respondent’s failure to comply with her records requests.

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

6. Section 1-15(a), G.S., in relevant part provides that:

[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record. . . .

7. It is found that with a cover memorandum dated February 21, 1997--more than four months after the records requests--the corporation counsel’s office enclosed a copy of three pages of an "Employee Reclassification Analysis [from] 1/1/95 Forward" and sent the records to the complainant via interagency mail. The corporation counsel’s memorandum was also copied to the respondent.

8. It is found that although she is an employee of the city of New Haven, the complainant did not receive the documents that were mailed to her at her place of employment because she has been on medical leave from her job since the end of January 1997.

9. It is found that on or about March 7, 1997, the complainant retrieved from her residential mailbox a copy of the February 21, 1997 memorandum and the three page enclosure, as described in paragraph 7, above.

10. It is found that the records provided to the complainant constitute partial compliance with the complainant’s records requests because the records provided do not include the requested date and source of reclassification information, as described more fully in paragraphs 2c) and 2d), above.

11. Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondent violated 1-15(a), G.S., by failing to promptly and fully comply with the complainant’s records requests.

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

1. Within seven (7) days of the date of mailing the notice of final decision in this case, the respondent shall search her files for the records identified in paragraphs 2c) and 2d) of the findings, above, and either provide the complainant with a copy of the requested records as more fully identified in paragraphs 2c) and 2d) of the findings, above, free of charge, or furnish to the complainant an affidavit stating that she conducted a diligent search of the agency’s files and the requested records do not exist.

2. Henceforth the respondent shall strictly comply with the public records provisions of 1-15, G.S.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 11, 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:

Carletta Wright
77 West Street
New Haven, CT 06519

Director, Organizational Development, City of New Haven
200 Orange Street
New Haven, CT 06510

__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC 1996-537/FD/eal/06231997