FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Dayna McDermott,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-148
Principal, North Windham School,
Windham Public Schools; and Windham
Board of Education, Windham Public
Schools,
Respondents October 14, 1998

      The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 5, 1998, at
which time the complainant 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 #FIC1998-149, Juan Arriola against Patrick
Proctor, Superintendent of Schools, Windham Public Schools; and Windham Board of
Education, Windham Public Schools
.

     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 April 22, 1998, the complainant requested that the respondent
principal provide her with access to “all materials, correspondences, letters, memos,
documents, interviews, and similar files pertaining to Dayna McDermott, especially those
portions that include materials, correspondences, letters, memos, documents, interviews,
and similar files pertaining performance, and to investigatory, disciplinary, and punitive
actions taken against Dayna McDermott.”

     3. By letter dated May 5, 1998 and filed May 21, 1998, the complainant
appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of
Information Act by denying her access to the records described in paragraph 2, above.

     4. Section 1-19(a), G.S., in relevant part, provides:

[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….

     5. It is concluded that the requested records are public records within the
meaning of 1-19(a), G.S.

     6. It is found that the respondent principal does not maintain any records
responsive to the request described in paragraph 2, above. It is further found that the
requested records are contained in the complainant’s personnel file, and that such file has
been maintained by the superintendent of the Windham Public Schools since 1997.

     7. It is also found that the complainant has always had access to her personnel
file.

     8. The complainant contends that evidence presented at the hearing on this
matter indicates that there are outstanding statements in the possession of the respondents
to which she has not been given access. However, it is found that such evidence fails to
prove that the statements in question are public records within the meaning of 1-19(a),
G.S.

     9. In consideration of the foregoing, it is concluded that the respondents did not
violate the provisions of 1-19(a), G.S., under the facts of this case.

     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:

Dayna McDermott
218 West Old Route 6
Hampton, CT 06247

Principal, North Windham School,
Windham Public Schools; and
Windham Board of Education,
Windham Public Schools,
c/o Atty. Thomas B. Mooney
Shipman & Goodwin, LLP
One American Row
Hartford, CT 06103


__________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission


FIC1998-148FD/mrb10151998