FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Dennis Carnot,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1997-318
Chief, Meriden Police Department,
City of Meriden; Internal Affairs Division,
Meriden Police Department, City of Meriden;
Meriden Police Department, City of Meriden;
and Paul Rowen 
Respondents May 13, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 22, 1998 
and March 20, 1998, at which times the complainant and the respondents appeared, and 
presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The caption has been 
corrected and restated to conform with the granting of party status to Paul Rowen as a 
respondent.
	After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and 
conclusions of law are reached:
	1.  The respondents, Chief, Meriden Police Department, City of Meriden; Internal 
Affairs Division, Meriden Police Department, City of Meriden; and Meriden Police 
Department, City of Meriden (together herein referred to as the “respondent police 
department”) are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
	2.  By letter dated September 5, 1997, the complainant requested of the 
respondent police department access to all records with respect to respondent Rowen (the 
“Rowen records”).
	3.  The respondent police department notified respondent Rowan that a Freedom 
of Information (“FOI”) request for the Rowan records had been received, and respondent 
Rowen objected to disclosure of the Rowan records to the complainant.
	4.  By letter dated September 9, 1997, the respondent police department denied 
the complainant access to the Rowen records.
	5.  By letter dated September 25, 1997 and filed on October 2, 1997, the 
complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent police department 
violated the FOI Act by denying the complainant his right to inspect the Rowen records.
	6.  Following the January 22, 1998 hearing, on February 4, 1998, the respondent 
police department submitted the Rowen records, together with the required index and a 
transmittal letter, to the Commission for an in camera inspection. The respondent police 
department indicated, on the index and in the letter, records concerning which it considers 
exemptions applicable and also records concerning which it has no objection to 
disclosure.
	7.  Respondent Rowen did not avail himself of the two week opportunity afforded 
by the Commission, after receiving a set of the in camera records, to file a more specific 
statement concerning his objections to disclosure, and therefore, his initial comprehensive 
objection to disclosing any of the Rowan records remains in effect.
	
	8. Following the March 20, 1998 hearing, on March 23, 1998, the respondent 
police department filed a letter with the Commission on behalf of both respondents, 
offering to make newly discovered tapes in the custody of the respondent police 
department, which include Officer Rowen’s voice relative to internal affairs complaints, 
available to the complainant for listening and making copies.
	
	9. The respondent police department contends that certain of the Rowan records 
and certain information on other Rowan records (specifically, social security numbers, 
date of birth, marital status and tax exemptions) are exempt as personnel or medical files 
the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy, pursuant to 1-
19(b)(2), G.S., and that certain other records are exempt to the extent that said records 
contain the residential address of a sworn member of a municipal police department, 
pursuant to 1-20(f), G.S. 
	10.  It is found that the Rowan records are public records within the meaning of 
1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.
	
	11.  Section 1-19(b)(2), G.S., exempts from mandatory public disclosure 
“personnel or medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an 
invasion of personal privacy."
	12.  In Perkins v. Freedom of Information Commission, 228 Conn. 158, 175 
(1993), the Supreme Court set forth the test for the exemption contained in 1-19(b)(2), 
G.S. The claimant must first establish that the files in question are personnel, medical or 
similar files. Second, the claimant must show that disclosure of the records would 
constitute an invasion of personal privacy. In determining whether disclosure would 
constitute an invasion of personal privacy, the claimant must establish both of two 
elements: first, that the information sought does not pertain to legitimate matters of public 
concern, and second, that such information is highly offensive to a reasonable person.
	13. It is found that all of the Rowan records examined in camera constitute 
“personnel or medical and similar files”, pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
	14.  It is also found that twelve records examined in camera, records numbered 65 
and 76 in the file from the personnel department, records numbered 4, 7, 17, 18,  36, 41, 
42, 49, 60, and 63 in the worker’s compensation file from the respondent police 
department, are medical records containing information that does not pertain to matters of 
legitimate public concern and would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.  It is 
therefore concluded that disclosure of these twelve records would constitute an invasion 
of personal privacy pursuant to the Perkins case, above, and such records are therefore 
exempt from mandatory public disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
	15.  It is found that, with the exception of the twelve medical records identified in 
paragraph 14, above, all of the remaining Rowan records examined in camera pertain to 
legitimate matters of public concern.  While some of these records have a “personal” 
quality and may be embarassing to respondent Rowen, these “personal” qualities are 
“legitimate matters of public concern” in the context of a police officer who is, of course, 
authorized to carry, and in certain circumstances, to utilize a firearm. It is therefore 
concluded that the disclosure of such remaining Rowen records would not constitute an 
invasion of personal privacy pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
	16.  It is concluded that that pursuant to 1-20(f), G.S. certain records are exempt 
to the extent that said records contain the residential address of a sworn member of a 
municipal police department, and that such information may be redacted from any record 
on which it appears.
	17.  It is concluded that, pursuant to Commission precedent, social security 
numbers, date of birth, marital status and tax exemptions are exempt from mandatory 
disclosure, and that such information may be redacted  from any record on which it 
appears.
	18.  It is concluded that, pursuant to Commission precedent, and with reference to  
the records described in paragraph 1 of the February 4, 1998 transmittal letter (the income 
information), the column of net dollar amounts on each page of said records are exempt 
from mandatory disclosure, and that such information may be redacted from any record 
on which it appears. Based upon the same Commission precedent of not disclosing 
individual deductions from a gross salary or other aspects of purely personal finance, 
records 3, 47, 52, 53, and 71 through 75 in the file from the Personnel Department are 
also exempt from mandatory disclosure and boxes 2, 3 and 4 may be redacted on record 
43 from the Personnel Department.
	19.  It is finally concluded that, with the exception of the records specifically 
identified as exempt in paragraphs 14 and 18, above, and the redactions specifically 
identified as exempt in paragraphs 16, 17, and 18, above, the action of the respondent 
police department denying the complainant access to the Rowan records was “a denial of 
[a] right conferred by the Freedom of Information Act”, as that term is utilized in 1-21i, 
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 police department shall forthwith permit the complainant, his 
designee, or any other person to inspect the Rowan records, with the exception of the 
records specifically identified as exempt in paragraphs 14 and 18, above, and with the 
redactions specifically identified as exempt in paragraphs 16, 17, and 18, above.


	Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular 
meeting of May 13, 1998.


_________________________
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:
Dennis Carnot
33 Preston Avenue
Meriden, CT 06450
Chief, Meriden Police Department, City of Meriden; Internal Affairs Division, Meriden 
Police Department, City of Meriden; Meriden Police Department, City of Meriden
c/o Atty. Christopher P. Hankins
Deputy City Attorney
City of Meriden
142 Main Street
Meriden, CT 06450-8022
Paul Rowen
Patrolman #314
Meriden Police Department
50 West Main Street
Meriden, CT 06451
__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission




FIC1997-318/FD/tcg/05181998