FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Mimi Walmsley,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-003
Administrative Hearing Attorney, State of Connecticut,
Department of Labor, Regulation of Wages Division;
State of Connecticut, Department of Labor,
Regulation of Wages Division,
Respondents May 27, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 24, 1998, 
at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts 
and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The caption above has 
been amended and restated in order to state properly the names of the respondents.
	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(a), G.S.
	2.  By letter dated December 19, 1997, the complainant requested of the 
respondents “complete copies of all complaints filed within the past three years against 
Interior Builders, Inc., which is located in Southington, Connecticut.”
	3.  By letter dated December 29, 1997, the respondents provided, with certain 
redactions, copies of two closed complaints (relating to complainants Fortier and 
Helbring) that were filed concerning Interior Builders, but at the same time declined, 
pursuant to 1-19(b)(3)(A) and (B), G.S., to disclose any other complaints.
	4.  By letter dated December 30, 1997, and filed with the Commission on January 
2, 1998, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents 
violated the Freedom of Information Act by declining to provide to her “’other’ 
complaints” (the “requested records”).
	5.  The respondents contend that the requested records are exempt from 
mandatory disclosure because disclosure would constitute an invasion of personal privacy 
pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S., and also as the records of a law enforcement agency 
pursuant to various subsections of 1-19(b)(3), G.S., including subsection (A) which 
protects the identity of informants or witnesses, subsection (B) which protects the signed 
statements of witnesses, and subsection (C) which protects “information to be used  in a 
prospective law enforcement action  if prejudicial to such action”.
	6.  The complainant contends that the respondents are not law enforcement 
agencies and that redaction could be used concerning certain information, as was done 
with the two complaints that were disclosed as stated at paragraph 3, above.
	7.  Section 1-19(b) (3), G.S., provides in pertinent part that various records shall 
be exempt from mandatory disclosure, including:
records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available 
to the public which records were compiled in connection with the 
detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records 
would not be in the public interest because it would result in the 
disclosure of  (A) the identity of informants not otherwise known or the 
identity of witnesses not otherwise known whose safety would be 
endangered or who would be subject to threat or intimidation if their 
identity was made known, (B) signed statements of witnesses, (C) 
information to be used in a prospective law enforcement action if 
prejudicial to such action…
	8.  It is found that the respondents have the authority to investigate allegations of 
unpaid wages due pursuant to 31-59 and 31-76a, G.S., and also that failure to pay 
wages is a criminal act pursuant to 31-69 and 31-79g, G.S.   
	9.  It is found that, in addition to formal legal authority, the respondents have a 
substantial operational role in enforcing the criminal statutes concerning the non-payment 
of wages, that thirty five investigators working for the respondent division process 
approximately 8,000 complaints per year, and that the respondent Division issues a notice 
of violation when it concludes after investigation that a crime has been committed.
	10.  It is also found that the staff of the respondent division complete (for 
signature by the state’s attorney and a judge) applications for arrest warrants (including 
the name of the accused and the crime charged), that the respondent division sometimes 
assists in making an arrest and generally assists in presentation of the criminal case 
(performing all functions usually performed by police except for effecting the actual 
arrest).
	11.  It is also found that forty-five to fifty arrests are made each year as a direct 
result of the respondent division’s performance of its duties, that the Division of Criminal 
Justice frequently requests of the respondent division a recommendation concerning 
whether to proceed with prosecution, and that in 1997 an individual was imprisoned as a 
result of violations of the labor laws enforced in substantial part by the respondent 
division.
	12.  It is found that the requested records are signed statements concerning a 
criminal violation.
	13.  It is also found that the requested records are made available only to the 
employees of the respondent division and other agencies involved with law enforcement.
	14.  It is further found that the investigation resulting from the requested records 
is still pending and ongoing.
	15.  It is also found, in general, that many of the complainants alleging violations 
to the respondent division are still working for the employers being complained against, 
that even employees who are no longer working for the employers whom are the subject 
of the employees’ complaints could face blacklisting in the relevant industry, that the 
complaints are handwritten so that handwriting identification is readily feasible, that 
employees who file wage complaints are concerned about retaliation, and that disclosure 
of the identity of the complainants would have a chilling effect on the filing of complaints 
to enforce the wage laws. 
	16.  It is also found that, in the case of the two complaints that were disclosed, as 
set forth at paragraph 3, above, the staff of the respondent division had knowledge that 
the relevant employer already knew the identity of the complainants.
	17.  The respondents have brought to the attention of the Commission, and the 
Commission has taken administrative notice of, a series of decisions where the 
Commission has held that an agency working closely with the Division of Criminal 
Justice and the police was considered a “law enforcement agency” in connection with this 
work (Docket # FIC 78-92 in re Banking Department; Docket # FIC 78-99 in re 
Governor; Docket # FIC 85-2 in re Department of Motor Vehicles; Docket # FIC 90-487 
in re Waterbury Fire Department; Docket # FIC 91-125 in re Middletown Department of 
Health; and Docket # FIC 96-086 in re Middletown Board of Health).
	18.  Conversely, the complainant has brought to the attention of the Commission, 
and the Commission has taken administrative notice of, a series of decisions where the 
Commission has held that an agency was not a “law enforcement agency” (Docket # FIC 
81-181 in re Chief Medical Examiner; Docket # FIC 81-181 in re Department of 
Consumer Protection; Docket # FIC 96-18 in re Registrar of Voters).
	19.  It is concluded that, in cases where the working relationship between an 
agency, and the Division of Criminal Justice and/or the police, is such that the first 
agency does the investigation and prepares warrants upon which the police and the 
Division of Criminal Justice proceed with arrest and prosecution, the first investigating 
agency is also held to be “a law enforcement agency” for purposes of 1-19(b)(3), G.S. 
(See especially Docket # FIC 90-487 where the Waterbury Fire Department conducted an 
arson investigation for the Division of Criminal Justice, and Docket # FIC 78-92 where 
the Banking Department turned over its investigations to the Division of Criminal 
Justice).
	20.  Accordingly, based upon the findings at paragraphs 9, 10, and 11, above, it is 
concluded that the respondents are law enforcement agencies for purposes of 1-19(b)(3), 
G.S.
	21.  It is also concluded, based upon the finding at paragraph 13, above, that the 
requested records are “not otherwise available to the public”, as the term is utilized in 1-
19(b)(3), G.S.
	22.  It is further concluded, based upon the findings at paragraphs 8, 9, 10, 11, and 
12, above, that the requested records were “compiled in connection with the detection or 
investigation of crime”, as the term is utilized in 1-19(b)(3), G.S.
	23.  It is also concluded, based upon the findings at paragraph 15, above, that 
disclosure of the requested records “would not be in the public interest”, as the term is 
utilized in 1-19(b)(3), G.S., because such disclosure would undermine enforcement of 
the criminal law.
	24.  It is concluded that individuals who file complaints that initiate criminal 
investigations are “informants”, as that term is utilized by 1-19(b)(3)(A), G.S.
	25.  It is therefore concluded, based upon the findings of fact at paragraphs 12 and 
15, above, that disclosure of any portion of the requested records would have the effect of 
disclosing  “the identity of informants not otherwise known…who would be subject to 
threat or intimidation” in violation of 1-19(b)(3)(A), G.S.
	26.  It is also concluded, based upon the findings of fact at paragraph 12, above, 
that disclosure of any portion of the requested records would have the effect of disclosing 
signed statements of witnesses in violation of 1-19(b)(3)(B), G.S.
	27.  It is also concluded, based upon the findings of fact at paragraph 15, above, 
that disclosure of any portion of the requested records would be prejudicial to a 
prospective law enforcement action in violation of 1-19(b)(3)(C), G.S.
	
	28.  In light of the conclusions at paragraphs 25, 26, and 27, above, it is concluded 
that the Commission does not  need to consider the respondents’ claims of exemption 
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.  The complaint is hereby dismissed.

	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:
Mimi Walmsley
281 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06032
Administrative Hearing Attorney, State of Connecticut, Department of Labor, Regulation 
of Wages Division; State of Connecticut, Department of Labor, Regulation of Wages 
Division
c/o Atty. Maria C. Rodriguez
P.O. Box 120
Hartford, CT 06141-0120
__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission




FIC1998-003/FD/tcg/05291998