FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

FINAL DECISION
Docket #FIC 1996-577
July 30, 1997

In the Matter of a Complaint by Marcus Pisciotti, Complainant
against
Chief of Police, New Haven Police Department, Respondent

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 15, 1997, 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 to the respondent dated February 20, 1996, the complainant requested that he be provided with a copy of the following records ("records request"):

all reports, memoranda, notes, audio-tapes, videotapes, and any other records generated by the respondent’s Internal Affairs Bureau or other department or agency over the last five years, which pertain to investigations of him, including, but not limited to, an incident on June 15, 1995 ("June incident");

his personnel file;

all records and reports which the respondent used to determine his eligibility for employment, promotion, additional compensation, transfer, termination, and disciplinary or other adverse personnel action; and

his employee evaluations or other records or reports concerning his character, credit, and work habits.

Docket #FIC1996-577 Page 2

3. By letter to the complainant dated March 28, 1996, the respondent advised the complainant that he could review his personnel file, and that the New Haven Police Department ("department") would conduct a diligent search to determine whether there were any other records in existence that were responsive to his records request.

4. Under cover letter to the complainant dated April 4, 1996, the respondent provided the complainant with a copy of a case incident report dated June 15, 1995 and written by the complainant, and advised him that said report was the only other "written documentation responsive to [his records request]."

5. By letters to the respondent dated June 4, 1996 and June 19, 1996, the complainant asked to meet with the respondent to review his records concerning the June incident since Sergeant Northrop of the department had advised him that such records were in the respondent’s possession.

6. By letters to the complainant dated June 7, 1996 and July 2, 1996, the respondent advised the complainant that he had been provided with all records concerning the June incident, and declined to meet with him.

7. The complainant renewed his request for records relating to the June incident by letter to the respondent’s counsel dated October 14, 1996.

8. In her letter dated October 24, 1996, respondent’s counsel advised the complainant that the department had already provided him with all existing documentation responsive to his records request.

9. By letter of complaint dated November 18, 1996, and filed with the Commission on November 22, 1996, the complainant alleged that the respondent failed to fully comply with his records requests.

10. Section 1-15(a), G.S., in relevant part provides that "[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record."

11. It is found that the complainant was apparently the target of an investigation conducted by, or with the cooperation of, Nicholas Pastore who was the department’s police chief when the June incident occurred and the complaint was filed, but who has since resigned his position as chief of the department.

12. It is found that records relating to the June incident are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.

Docket #FIC1996-577 Page 3

13. It is found that the complainant had good reason to believe that all responsive records, as described in paragraph 2a), above, were not provided to him by former police chief Pastore.

14. It is further found however, that the incumbent police chief has searched the department’s files and that no additional records responsive to the complainant’s records requests have been located.

15. Therefore, although the Commission is deeply troubled by the evidence in this case, it is concluded that the respondent did not violate the Freedom of Information Act with respect to the complainant’s records requests in this case.

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 special meeting of July 30, 1997.

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission

Docket #FIC1996-577 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:
Marcus Pisciotti
c/o Anthony M. Solomine, Esq.
Parrett, Porto, Parese & Colwell
357 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT. 06511

Chief of Police, New Haven Police Department
c/o Patricia Cofrancesco, Esq.
Office of the Corporation Counsel
165 Church Street
New Haven, CT. 06510

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission
fic1996-577/FD/mes/08141997