FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Deborah P. Conlon,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-172
City Council, City of West Haven;
Finance Board, City Council, City
of West Haven; and City of West
Haven,
Respondents November 18, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 9, 1998, 
at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, 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 June 8, 1998, the complainant made a Freedom of Information 
(“FOI”) request to the Finance Board of the City of West Haven (hereinafter “respondent 
board”) for copies of all finance reports filed with the respondent board by the West 
Haven Realty Corporation, including but not limited to, accounts receivable, accounts 
payable and the general ledger as well as all checking account statements.
 
	3.  By letter dated May 15, 1998, the complainant made an FOI request to the 
Corporation Counsel for copies of any and all correspondence between the West Haven 
Corporation Counsel and the Connecticut State’s Attorney’s office concerning Deborah 
P. Conlon and/or Willowood Condominiums and any correspondence concerning the 
West Haven Realty Corporation.
 
	4.  By letter dated May 15, 1998, the complainant made an FOI request to the 
respondent City Council (hereinafter “respondent council”) for copies of any and all 
correspondence to or from the West Haven Realty Holding Corporation, its directors, 
and/or its members and all financial reports filed by the West Haven Realty Holding 
Corporation including but not limited to accounts receivable, accounts payable and the 
general ledger from July 10, 1997, to the present.

	5.  By letter dated June 9, 1998, the respondent board responded to the 
complainant’s request and informed the complainant that its office did not maintain any 
records responsive to her request.  
 
	6.  By letter dated May 20, 1998, the assistant corporation counsel responded to 
the complainant’s request described in paragraph 3, above, by first informing the 
complainant that the office did not maintain any records regarding correspondence to the 
State’s Attorney’s office responsive to her request and further requested that she remit a 
check in the amount of sixteen dollars for copies of the records regarding the West Haven 
Realty Holding Corporation.
 
	7.  It is found that the complainant did not receive a response to her request to the 
respondent council.
 
	8.  By letter dated June 16, 1998, and filed on June 19, 1998, the complainant 
appealed to this Commission alleging that the respondents failed to respond to her 
requests.  
 
	9.  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, whether or not such records are required by any 
law or by any rule or regulation, 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 in accordance with the 
provisions of section 1-15.
	10.  Section 1-15(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
 
Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly 
upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.
	11.  It is found that to the extent the respondents maintain records responsive to the 
complainant’s request, described in paragraphs 2, 3, and 4, above, such records are public 
records within the meaning of 1-18(a)(5), G.S.
 
	12.  With respect to the complainant’s request for correspondence to the State’s 
Attorney’s office, more fully described in paragraph 3, above, it is found that the 
corporation counsel does not maintain any records responsive to the complainant’s 
request.
 
	13.  It is therefore concluded that the respondent City of West Haven did not 
violate 1-19(a) or 1-15(a), G.S., by not providing those records.
 
 
	14.  At the hearing on this matter, the complainant argued that because West 
Haven Realty Holding Corporation was created by the city of West Haven for the purpose 
of holding property that the city owns, it is inconceivable that the respondents do not 
have the records she requested and that if the respondents do not have the records, they 
should be required to get them and provide her with copies thereof.
 
	15.  It is found that the respondent council adopted a resolution to create an entity 
which would hold certain property it was acquiring.  It is further found that that entity is 
now known as the West Haven Realty Holding Corporation. 
 
	16.  It is found that via the resolution, described in paragraph 15, above, the 
respondent council appointed individuals to act as directors and that these individuals met 
with an attorney to decided what needed to be included in the entity’s certificate of 
incorporation.
 
	17.  It is found that West Haven Realty Holding Corporation was incorporated in 
July of 1997, and has functioned, since its incorporation, as a separate entity from the  
respondent City of West Haven and agencies or departments thereof.  
 
	18.  It is further found that there is nothing in West Haven Realty Holding 
Corporation’s certificate of incorporation, nor within the original resolution, nor within 
any state or federal statute, which requires the corporation to submit to the respondent 
City of West Haven, or any agency thereof, any financial reports. 
 
	19.  It is found that since the corporation’s existence it has never submitted any 
financial reports to the city or any agency of the city. 
 
	20.  It is therefore found that the respondents do not maintain any records 
responsive to the complainant’s request regarding the financial data of the corporation as, 
more fully described in paragraphs 3, and 4, above.
 
	21.  It is also found that the FOI Act requires that a request for documents be made 
to the agency which maintains the records requested and does not require any public 
agency to procure records from another public agency to comply with a request for 
records it does not maintain.  
 
	22.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate 1-19(a) or 1-
15(a), G.S., by not providing the financial reports as requested by the complainant.
 
	23.  With respect to the complainant’s request to the City Council, it is found that 
there was an oversight on the part of the assistant corporation counsel in that he believed 
that the requests described in paragraphs 3 and 4, above, were the same since the letters 
were from the same person, had the same date and, at a quick glance, appeared to request 
the same information.  He thought that he had in fact responded to the complainant’s 
request to the respondent council by his letter of May 20,1998, described in paragraph, 6 
above.
 
	24.  It is found that the respondent council did not respond to the complainant’s 
request described in paragraph, 4, above.
 
	25.  Notwithstanding the findings in paragraphs 19 and 20, above, the respondent 
council violated 1-19(a) and 1-15(a), G.S., by failing to promptly respond to the 
complainant’s request.
	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 with respect to the respondent Finance 
Board.
 
	2.  Henceforth the respondent City Council of the City of West Haven and the 
respondent City of West Haven shall strictly comply with the provisions of 1-19(a) and 
1-15(a), G.S.
	Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of 
November 18, 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:
Deborah P. Conlon 
78 Savin Park
West Haven, CT 06516
City Council, City of West 
Haven; Finance Board, City 
Council, City of West Haven; 
and City of West Haven
c/o Atty. Michael P. Farrell
Office of Corporation Counsel
355 Main Street
West Haven, CT 06516


__________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission


FIC1998-172FD/mrb11231998