FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Gene Eriquez and the Campaign
For Connecticut Families,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-312
Mark Nielson, Member, Senate of the
State of Connecticut,
Respondents October 28, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 23, 1998, at which 
time the complainants and the respondent 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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
	2.   By letter dated September 19, 1998, the complainants requested from the respondent 
copies of:
a) any and all records, bank statements, check registers and/or ledgers 
showing any receipts and disbursements of any kind in connection with 
the opening and operation of the District Service Office at 258 Main 
Street, Danbury, Connecticut (hereinafter “service office”); and 
b) all phone records and phone bills for all telephone calls made from or 
charged to the service office.
In the event the records described in paragraph 2.b., had not been retained by the 
respondent, the complainants asked that the respondent provide authorization to obtain 
said information from local and long distance telephone providers.  
	3.   By letter dated September 25, 1998, the respondent, through his attorney, responded 
to the request, indicating that responsive records would be supplied when located.  
	
	4.   By letter dated October 5, 1998, the complainants reiterated their request as described 
in paragraph 2, above.  
	5.   Having failed to receive the requested records, the complainants appealed to the 
Commission by letter dated October 14, 1998, and filed October 19, 1998, alleging that the 
respondent thereby violated the FOI Act.  
	6.  Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:
[e]xcept as otherwise provided by any federal law or state 
statute,…every person shall have the right to inspect 
[public] records promptly…or to receive a copy of such 
records….
	7.   At the hearing on this matter, the respondent contended that the requested records are 
not public records within the meaning of the FOI Act.  
	8.   The Commission takes administrative notice of its Declaratory Ruling #90, In the 
Matter of a Request for Declaratory Ruling from The Deputy Majority Leader, Connecticut 
House of Representatives, issued at the Commission’s April 22, 1998 meeting (hereinafter 
“Declaratory Ruling #90”), concerning the definition of “public records” in the context of 
records maintained by members of the legislature.  
	9.   Section 1-18a(5), G.S., defines “public records” as:
…any recorded data or information relating to the conduct 
of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or 
retained by a public agency, whether such data or 
information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, 
photostated, photographed or recorded by any other 
method.  
[emphasis added].
	10.  Section 1-18a(1), G.S., in relevant part, defines a “public agency” to mean:
…any executive, administrative or legislative office of the 
state or any political subdivision of the state…. 
[emphasis added].
	11.  In Declaratory Ruling #90, the Commission ruled that any recorded data or 
information prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a member of the General Assembly, 
in his or her capacity as a member thereof, including correspondence from or to constituents, 
directly or indirectly relating to enacting legislation or making laws are public records under 
Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-18a(5) for purposes of the FOI Act.  The Commission further ruled therein 
that any recorded data or information, prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a member 
of the General Assembly, whether or not in his or her capacity as a member thereof, including 
correspondence from or to a constituent concerning a request for the assistance or intervention of 
the legislator in a matter unrelated directly or indirectly to enacting legislation or making laws, 
are not public records under Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-18a(5) for purposes of the FOI Act.
	12.  It is concluded that any records, bank statements, check registers and/or ledgers 
showing receipts and disbursements of any kind in connection with the opening and operation of 
the service office, and any telephone records for calls made from or charged to such office, which 
are not directly or indirectly related to the enactment of legislation or making laws are not public 
records under 1-18a(5), G.S., and are therefore not subject to the disclosure requirements of 1-
19(a), G.S.    
	13.  It is also concluded, however, that any records, bank statements, check registers 
and/or ledgers showing receipts and disbursements of any kind in connection with the opening 
and operation of the service office, and any telephone records for calls made from or charged to 
such office, which directly or indirectly relate to the enactment of legislation or making laws are 
public records under 1-18a(5), G.S. 
	14.  It is found that the respondent failed to prove that any of the requested records do not 
relate to the enactment of legislation or to the making of laws.  It is therefore concluded that the 
respondent violated 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to promptly provide such records to the 
complainants.     

	The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the 
record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
	1.  The respondent shall provide the complainants with the records described in paragraph 
2 of the findings, above, by Friday, October 30, 1998.  
	2.   In complying with paragraph 1 of this order, above, the respondent may withhold any 
such records which do not directly or indirectly relate to the enactment of legislation, or to 
making laws.  If, however, the respondent withholds any such records, he shall provide the 
complainants with an affidavit, detailing his examination, listing the number of records withheld, 
and attesting to the fact that such records do not directly or indirectly relate to the enactment of 
legislation or to making laws.    


Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 
28, 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:
Gene Eriquez and the 
Campaign For Connecticut 
Families
c/o Atty. Mark S. Shipman
74 Batterson Park Road
Farmington, CT 06032
Mark Nielson, 
Member, Senate of the State
of Connecticut
c/o Atty. Morgan J. O’Brien
3400 Legislative Office Bldg
Hartford, CT 06106


__________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission


FIC1998-312FD/mrb10301998