FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Allan Drury and The New Haven
Register,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1997-298
Chief, East Haven Police
Department, Town of East Haven;
and Town of East Haven
Respondents June 10, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 27, 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(1), G.S.
	2.   By letter dated September 9, 1997, the complainants requested that the 
respondents provide them with several records, including the non-exempt records in the 
personnel file of Officer Robert Flodquist.  
	3.   By letter dated and filed September 18, 1997, the complainants appealed to 
the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act 
by denying them copies of the requested records. 
	4.   At the hearing, the complainants stipulated that their complaint is now limited 
to the personnel file of Officer Flodquist.  
	5.   It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 
1-18a(5), G.S. (prior to October 1, 1997, 1-18a(d), G.S.) and 1-19(a), G.S.
	6.   Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that “[e]xcept as otherwise 
provided by any federal law or state statute, 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….”
	7.   The respondents contend that the records are exempt from mandatory 
disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S., which in relevant part provides for the 
nondisclosure of “personnel or medical files and similar files the disclosure of which 
would constitute an invasion of personal privacy.” 
	8.   The respondents further contend that disclosure of personnel records must be 
tailored to a demonstrated need for the information, citing State v. Rodriguez, 37 Conn. 
App. 589, 612 sic (1995) and State v. Leonard, 31 Conn. App. 178, 198 (1993).  
However, the cited authorities relate to discovery requests of litigants and the 
corresponding standards for such review; therefore, such cases are not controlling in a 
determination of whether requested records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-
19(b)(2), G.S.  
	9.  Rather, the Supreme Court set forth the test for the 1-19(b)(2), G.S., 
exemption in Perkins v. Freedom of Information Commission, 228 Conn. 158, 175 
(1993).  Specifically, 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.
	10.  It is found that the requested records are personnel files within the meaning of 
1-19(b)(2), G.S.  
11.  It is further found that the respondents failed to prove either that the requested 
records do not pertain to a legitimate matter of public concern or that disclosure of such 
records would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.  Accordingly, it is concluded 
that such records are not exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
	12.  The respondents also contend that the records at issue may be used in a law 
enforcement action and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating a 
shooting involving the officer who is the subject of such records.  
	13.  Section 1-19(b)(3), G.S., provides 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 …(C) 
information to be used in a prospective law enforcement 
action if prejudicial to such action….
	14.  It is found that the respondents failed to prove that the personnel records of 
Officer Flodquist were compiled in connection with the investigation of any crime, nor 
did they prove that release of such records would prejudice a prospective law 
enforcement action.  Accordingly, it is concluded that such records are not exempt from 
disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(3)(C), G.S.
	15.  Based upon the findings and conclusions set forth in paragraphs 11 and 14, 
above, it is further concluded that the respondents violated 1-19(a), G.S., and 1-15(a), 
G.S., by denying the complainants copies of the records described in paragraph 4, above.  
	The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of 
the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
	1.   The respondents shall forthwith provide the complainants with copies of the 
contents of the requested personnel file more fully described in paragraph 4 of the 
findings, above, excluding medical and social security records, payroll deductions and tax 
information.
	2.   Henceforth, the respondents shall strictly comply with requirements of the 
FOI Act.

	Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular 
meeting of June 10, 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:
Allan Drury 
The New Haven Register
40 Sargent Drive 
New Haven, CT 06511-5918
Chief, East Haven Police Department, Town of East Haven; and Town of East Haven
c/o Atty. Lawrence C. Sgrignari
3127-3129 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518-2344


__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission




FIC1997-298/FD/tcg/06121998