FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
John Gauger, Jr., Joseph Cadrain,
and Richard Westervelt,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1997-401
Manager, State of Connecticut,
Office of Labor Relations; and
State of Connecticut, Office of
Labor Relations,
Respondents October 14, 1998

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 20, 1998,
at which time the complainants and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts
and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. For purposes of
hearing, this case was consolidated with Docket # FIC1997-362; John Gauger, Jr., Joseph
Cadrain, and Richard Westervelt against Manager, State of Connecticut, Office of Labor
Relations; and State of Connecticut, Office of Labor Relations
. The Connecticut State
Police Union requested and was granted party status at the hearing on this matter.

     After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and
conclusions of law are reached:

     1. By letter dated June 2, 1997 and pursuant to 1-21c, G.S., the complainants
requested that they receive notice by mail of all meetings of the respondents at which
evidence would be presented regarding a particular grievance related to State Trooper
John R. Bement.

     2. It is found that a meeting relative to the grievance described in paragraph 1,
above, was conducted on November 12, 1997, and that the complainants did not receive
prior notice of such meeting.

     3. By letter dated December 9, and filed with the Commission on December 10,
1997, the complainants alleged that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information
Act (“FOI”) Act by failing to properly notify them of the meeting described in paragraph
2, above. The complainants asked for the following remedies:

a) access to the public portions of all meetings concerning Trooper
Bement’s grievance;
b) an order declaring null and void any decisions made at any hearing that
effect the 10 day suspension imposed upon Trooper Bement;
c) access to all notes, records and minutes of all proceedings concerning
Trooper Bement and his grievances; and
d) any other appropriate relief.

     4. Section 1-21c, G.S., in relevant part states that a public agency:

…shall, where practicable, give notice by mail of each
regular meeting, and of any special meeting which is called,
at least one week prior to the date set for the meeting, to
any person who has filed a written request for such notice
with such body, except that such body may give such notice
as it deems practical of special meetings called less than
seven days prior to the date set for the meeting…. Any
request for notice filed pursuant to this section shall be
valid for one year from the date on which it is filed unless a
renewal request is filed. Renewal requests for notice shall
be filed within thirty days after January first of each year.
Such public agency may establish a reasonable charge for
sending such notice based on the estimated cost of
providing such service.

     5. It is found that the complainants’ letter described in paragraph 1, above, did
not request notice of each regular meeting and any special meetings of the respondents,
but rather it requested notice of particular meetings pertaining to a specific subject matter.

     6. It is further found that the respondents were not obliged by 1-21c, G.S., to
provide written notice to the complainants of any particular meeting concerning a specific
subject.

     7. Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate 1-21c, G.S.,
by failing to provide timely notice to the complainants of the meeting described in
paragraph 2, above.

     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
October 14, 1998.

_________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
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:

John Gauger, Jr., Joseph Cadrain
and Richard Westervelt
c/o Atty. Barry J. Boodman
P.O.Box 8158
Stamford, CT 06905-8158
and
c/o Atty. Charlene LaVoie
P.O. Box 1044
Winsted, CT 06098

Manager, State of Connecticut,
Office of Labor Relations; and
State of Connecticut, Office of
Labor Relations,
c/o Atty. Laurie Adler
Assistant Attorney General
55 Elm Street
P.O. Box 120
Hartford, CT 06141-0120

Connecticut State Police Union
c/o Atty. Robert J. Krzys
1010 Wethersfield Avenue
Suite 205
Hartford, CT 06114

__________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission


FIC1997-401FD/mrb10151998