FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

FINAL DECISION
Docket #FIC 1996-488
September 10, 1997

In the Matter of a Complaint by Ethan Book, Jr., Complainant
against
Executive Director, State of Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, Respondent

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 16, 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 of complaint dated and filed with the Commission on December 2, 1996, the complainant alleged that the respondent failed to comply with the Commission’s order in contested case docket #FIC 1996-016, Ethan Book, Jr. v. Executive Director, State of Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (hereinafter "FIC 1996-016").

3. Specifically, the complainant contends that the respondent redacted from the biographical background ordered disclosed in FIC 1996-016 the number of Christopher Rose’s children and the name and occupation of Rose’s wife (hereinafter "records at issue").

4. The respondent contends that it provided the complainant with the biographical background ordered disclosed in FIC 1996-016; that the records at issue were not included in the complainant’s request in FIC 1996-016; and that even if the records at issue were included in the complainant’s request in FIC 1996-016, such records are exempt from disclosure.

Docket # FIC 1996-488 Page 2

5. With respect to the respondent’s first argument, it is found that following the Commission’s order in FIC 1996-016, the respondent, by letter dated December 5, 1996,

provided the complainant with Rose’s biographical background, however, the respondent redacted the records at issue from such background.

6. It is found that in FIC 1996-016 neither party raised, and the Commission did not address, whether the records at issue, as contained on the biographical background at issue in FIC 1996-016, were disclosable.

7. Indeed, it is found that the present dispute between the parties arose after the respondent provided the complainant with the biographical background, described in paragraph 5 of the findings, above, and the complainant realized that the respondent had redacted the records at issue from such biographical background.

8. Accordingly, the Commission’s decision and order in FIC 1996-016 are silent with respect to the records at issue.

9. It is therefore, concluded that the respondent did not violate the Commission’s order in FIC 1996-016.

10. With respect to the respondent’s second argument, it is found that in FIC 1996-016 the complainant requested Rose’s biographical background and the records at issue constitute a part of such biographical background.

11. With respect to the respondent’s third argument, it is concluded that the records at issue are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.

12. Section 1-19(b)(2), G.S., permits the nondisclosure of "personnel or medical and similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy."

13. It is found that the records at issue constitute personnel or similar files within the meaning of 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

14. It is also found that disclosure of the records at issue does not pertain to a matter of legitimate public concern.

15. It is further found that disclosure of the records at issue would not be highly offensive to a reasonable person.

Docket # FIC 1996-488 Page 3

16. Accordingly, it is concluded that the records at issue are not exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S.

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

1. Forthwith, the respondent shall provide the complainant with a copy of the records at issue as more fully described in paragraph 3 of the findings, above.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 10, 1997.

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission

Docket # FIC 1996-488 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:
Ethan Book, Jr.
P.O. Box 1385
Fairfield, CT 06430

Executive Director, State of Connecticut, Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities
c/o David L. Kent, Atty.
CHRO
21 Grand Street
Hartford, CT 06106

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1996-488/tcg/09101997