FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|Joseph P. Savenelli,|
|against||Docket #FIC 1997-432|
|Chairman, State of
Board of Parole and State of
Connecticut, Board of Parole
|Respondents||May 27, 1998|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 4, 1998, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of §1-18a(1), G.S.
2. It is found that by letter dated December 4, 1997, the complainant requested that the respondents provide him with a copy of the parole package prepared by Anita Hill for his September 2, 1997 parole hearing and a copy of the transcript of the parole hearing (hereinafter requested records).
3. Having failed to receive the requested records, the complainant, by letter dated December 19, 1997 and filed with the Commission on December 24, 1997, appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act by denying him copies of the requested records.
4. It is found that by letter dated December 23, 1997 the parole board supervisor provided the complainant with a copy of a parole summary and the written record created at the time of the parole hearing.
5. It is found that by letter dated January 12, 1998, in response to a further inquiry by the complainant about his records request, the parole board supervisor informed the complainant that he would be contacted by a staff member (staff member) in the near future about his request.
6. It is found that by letter dated January 22, 1997 a staff member informed the complainant that the parole board supervisor would inform the complainant as to the status of his records request, and that the only portion of the parole hearing that was taped was the denial decision.
7. It is found that the complainant is seeking a copy of all records relied upon by the respondent board during the parole hearing (parole package records) and all transcripts of the parole hearing.
8. It is found that the respondents maintain records responsive to the complainants request, as described in paragraphs 2 and 7.
9. Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides, in relevant 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 during regular office or business hours or to receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-15. Any agency rule or regulation, or part thereof, that conflicts with the provisions of this subsection or diminishes or curtails in any way the rights granted by this subsection shall be void.
10. It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of §§1-18a(5) and 1-19(a), G.S.
11. It is found that the requested records may include among other records, criminal history records, disciplinary history records, pre-sentence investigation records and a tape of the respondent boards denial decision, however, at the hearing on this matter, the parole board supervisor testified that he had no knowledge of the specific contents of the complainants parole package records, as described in paragraph 7, above.
12. At the hearing on this matter the respondents failed to prove that any federal law or state statute precludes the disclosure of any of the requested records and the Commission is unaware of any such federal law or statute. The only reason indicated by the parole board supervisor for having not provided the complainant with a copy of the requested records was that in his opinion records not generated by the respondents are not accessible through the respondents, but only through the agency that generated such records.
13. It is concluded that the respondents violated §§1-15(a), and 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with a copy of all of the requested records.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. Forthwith, the respondents shall provide the complainant, free of charge, with a copy of the requested records as more fully described in paragraphs 2 and 7, above.
2. Henceforth, the respondents shall strictly comply with §§1-15(a), and 1-19(a), G.S.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 27, 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:
Joseph P. Savenelli c/o Michael Frascatore 215 Ripton Road Huntington, CT 06484
Chairman, State of Connecticut, Board of Parole; and State of Connecticut, Board of Parole c/o Brian Anderson Parole Supervisor, Hearings Division 21 Grand Street Hartford, CT 06106
__________________________ Doris V. Luetjen Acting Clerk of the Commission