FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Jonathan Lucas and Greenwich Times,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-032
Director, Department of Human Resources,
Town of Greenwich; and Town of Greenwich,
Respondents May 27, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 26, 1998, at 
which time the complainants and the respondents 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
	2.  By letter dated January 5, 1998, the complainant requested copies of various 
records concerning the “retirement package” of Police Chief Kenneth Moughty, including 
the settlement agreement between Mr. Moughty and the Town of Greenwich (which 
settlement agreement is herein referred to as the “requested record” or the “record”).
	3.  By letters dated January 7 and 12, 1998, the respondents declined to provide 
the requested record, stating that Mr. Moughty had objected to its release.
	4.  By letter dated January 29, 1998, and filed with the Commission on January 
30, 1998, the complainants appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents 
violated the Freedom of Information Act by denying the request for the record with a 
claim of exemption pursuant to 1-19(b)(2) and 1-20(a), G.S.
	5.  Section 1-19(a), G.S., states in pertinent part:
all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency…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….[emphasis added]
	6.  Section 1-19(b)(2), G.S., provides that a public agency need not disclose 
“personnel or medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an 
invasion of personal privacy”.
	7.  Section 1-20a(b), G.S., states in pertinent part:
Whenever a public agency receives a request to inspect or 
copy records contained in any of its employees' personnel 
or medical and similar files and the agency reasonably believes 
that the disclosure of such records would legally constitute 
an invasion of privacy, the agency shall immediately notify 
in writing (1) each employee concerned and (2) the collective 
bargaining representative, if any, of each employee concerned. 
Nothing herein shall require an agency to withhold from disclosure 
the contents of personnel or medical files and similar files when 
it does not reasonably believe that such disclosure would legally 
constitute an invasion of personal privacy. [emphasis added]
	8.  And finally, 1-20a(c), G.S., provides that:
A public agency which has provided notice under subsection (b) 
of this section shall disclose the records requested unless it receives 
a written objection from the employee concerned....Each objection 
filed under this subsection shall [contain]..a statement...that...there 
is good ground to support it and that the objection is not interposed for 
delay. Upon the filing of an objection as provided in this subsection, 
the agency shall not disclose the requested records unless ordered to do so 
by the freedom of information commission….[emphasis added]
	9.  It is found that the requested record was maintained in the personnel file of Mr. 
Moughty and it is concluded that the requested record is a personnel or medical file or similar 
file for purposes of 1-20a(b), G.S.
	10.  It is concluded that, in determining whether “the agency reasonably believes that 
disclosure of such records would legally constitute an invasion of privacy”, pursuant to 1-
20a(b), G.S., and also whether the disclosure of such records would legally constitute an 
“invasion of privacy”, pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S., the appropriate test for an invasion of 
privacy is set forth in Perkins v. Freedom of Information Commission, 228 Conn. 158 
(1993). The test requires that two elements be met: 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. Perkins at 175.
	11. At the March 26, 1998 hearing in this matter, the respondents submitted the 
requested record, with an index for an in camera inspection, which the Commission has 
now performed.
	12.  It is found that the requested record directly pertains to legitimate matters of 
public concern, in that it details the retirement compensation of a former public official 
resulting from the longtime performance of his public duties. 
	13.  It is also found that the requested record contains information pertaining to 
the amount of pension benefits, medical benefits, vacation and sick time compensation, 
and workers’ compensation benefits, all of which information could reasonably be 
considered highly offensive to a reasonable person.
	14.  In view of the information contained in the requested record pertaining to the 
amount of pension benefits, medical benefits, vacation and sick time compensation, and 
workers’ compensation benefits, it is concluded that the respondents could reasonably 
have believed that disclosure of the requested record would legally constitute an invasion 
of privacy for purposes of 1-20a(b), G.S.
	15.  Therefore, it is concluded that the respondents’ failure to provide the 
complainant with prompt access to the investigation report did not violate the promptness 
provisions of 1-19(a), G.S.
  
	16.  However, applying the Perkins test which requires a finding as to each of its 
two requirements in order to hold an invasion of privacy, it is concluded, in light of the 
finding concerning legitimate matters of public concern at paragraph 12, above, that 
disclosure of the requested record would not cause “an invasion of personal privacy” with 
reference to Mr. Moughty, as the term is utilized in 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
	17.  Therefore, it is concluded that the respondents failure to provide the 
complainants with prompt access to the requested records constituted the denial of a right 
conferred by 1-19(a), G.S.
	
	The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of 
the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
	1.  The respondents shall provide the complainants with a copy of the requested 
record forthwith.
	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:
Jonathan Lucas and Greenwich Times
c/o William S. Fish, Jr.
Tyler Cooper & Alcorn, LLP
Director, Department of Human Resources, Town of Greenwich; and Town of Greenwich
c/o Atty. Valerie A. Luoma
P.O. Box 2540
Greenwich, CT 06836-2540

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission




FIC1998-032/FD/tcg/05291998