FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

FINAL DECISION
Docket #FIC 1997-033
October 8, 1997

In the Matter of a Complaint by Joseph R. Krevis, Complainant
against
City Attorney, City of Bridgeport; and City of Bridgeport, Respondents

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 4, 1997, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. This case was heard together with Docket #FIC 1996-593, Docket #FIC 1997-057 and Docket #FIC 1997-080, and the Commission takes administrative notice of the record in these companion cases.

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 Section 1-18a(a), G.S.

2. By letter dated December 28, 1996, the complainant requested a copy of all checks to the law firm of Montstream & May ("payment records").

3. By letter dated January 2, 1996, and filed on January 9, 1996, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act by not providing him with copies of payment records.

4. Subsequently, by letter dated January 17, 1997, the respondent City Attorney reported that he had inquired of the relevant municipal agencies concerning the payment records which were not in the custody of his office.

5. Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides in pertinent part:

Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to inspect such records promptly…or to receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-15.

6. Section 1-15(a), G.S., in turn, provides in pertinent part 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 prior to June 26, 1997, the respondents sought to satisfy the request for the payment records with a summary of quarterly payments that was provided to the complainant on February 22, 1997.

8. It is found that, after June 26, 1997, the respondent did make the canceled checks and check registers available to the complainant for his inspection and copying.

9. It is found that, notwithstanding the availability of the payment records for inspection and copying by the complainant from at least June 26, 1997 onwards, the complainant did not make any effort to inspect the payment records at least up until July 29, 1997.

10. It is concluded that, because the respondents were slow to respond to the complainant’s request in an appropriate manner, there was a violation of the promptness requirement of 1-15(a) and 19(a), G.S.

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 upon request provide records which are subject to mandatory disclosure promptly.

2. The complainant did not assist a good working relationship with the respondents with his voluminous correspondence and numerous complaints in this and the companion cases.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 8, 1997.

_________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
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:
Joseph R. Krevis
110 Duane Place
Bridgeport, CT 06610

City Attorney, City of Bridgeport; and City of Bridgeport
c/o John Barton, Esq.
1087 Broad Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1997-033/tcg/10081997