FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Ethan Book, Jr.,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-196
Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority,
Respondents February 24, 1999

        The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 30, 1998 at which time the complainant 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(1), G.S.

        2. It is found that by letter dated June 26, 1998, the complainant renewed a request for records he had previously submitted to the respondent for: a) a copy of a letter sent on or about October 19, 1988 from Attorney Peter A. Kelly to Francis J. Drumm concerning the case Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority v. Freedom of Information Commission, CV-87-0328720-S and b) requested that he be permitted to inspect certain Bridgeport project files.

        3. In the June 26, 1998 letter, the complainant further requested that the respondent provide him with a copy of all correspondence, notes and memoranda pertaining to Substitute Senate Bill #98-75, An Act Concerning The Powers of The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority.

        4. It is found that by letter dated July 2, 1998, the respondent acknowledged receipt of the June 26, 1998 requests, and advised the complainant that such requests were being reviewed, and he would be notified as to the documents that could be made available to him.

        5. The complainant, by letter dated July 3, 1998 filed this complaint with the Commission on July 6, 1998, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act ("FOI") by denying his records requests.

        6. With respect to the request described in paragraph 2a, above, it is found that the respondent has searched its files and does not have the requested letter. The requested letter was generated by the complainant’s counsel to then Superior Court clerk Francis Drumm. There is no evidence that the respondent ever had a copy of the letter. However, the respondent agreed to consult with the law firm of Murtha Cullina Richter and Pinney to see whether they have a copy of the letter, and if they do, the respondent will request a copy which will be provided to the complainant.

        7. With respect to the request described in paragraph 2b, above, the parties agreed at the hearing on this matter that the respondent will permit the complainant to inspect the subject Bridgeport files. Because the files in question are voluminous, the parties agreed to the following: a) the respondent will permit the complainant access to inspect the "on-site" files for two hours per week upon receiving forty-eight hours notice from the complainant and b) the respondent, with respect to the "off-site" files, will try to take the boxes containing those files to its Stratford location for review by the complainant.

        8. With respect to the request described in paragraph 3, above, it is found that the respondent provided the complainant with all the records it has, in addition to records it requested from the lobbyist, that worked on the subject legislation. No evidence was presented at the hearing that records responsive to the complainant’s requests being addressed in this complaint exist, and have not been provided to the complainant by the respondent.

        9. In light of the foregoing, it is concluded that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act as alleged in the complaint.

        The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

        1. The complaint is dismissed.

        2. In keeping with the agreement described in paragraph 6, above, the respondent shall forthwith contact the law firm of Murtha Cullina Richter and Pinney to determine whether they have a copy of the subject letter, and if they do, the respondent shall request a copy and when received provide same to the complainant. If Murtha Cullina Richter and Pinney does not have a copy of the letter the respondent shall so inform the complainant.

        3. With respect to the agreement reached by the parties concerning inspection of the Bridgeport files, described in paragraph 7, above, the parties shall make good faith efforts to cooperate to the fullest extent possible.

  

        Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of February 24, 1999.

 

 

_________________________

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:

 

Ethan Book, Jr.

PO Box 1385

Fairfield, CT 06432

Connecticut Resources

Recovery Authority

c/o Atty. Michael G. Tansley

Cicchetti & Tansley

500 Chase Parkway

Waterbury, CT 06708-3343

 

 

 

 

__________________________

Melanie R. Balfour

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC1998-196FD/mrb02261999