FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Linda A. Puetz,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-375
First Selectman, Town of Sprague; and
Town of Sprague,
Respondents April 14, 1999

         The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 2, 1999 at which time the complainant and the respondents 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 first selectman is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(1), G.S.

        2. It is found that by letter dated December 1, 1998, postmarked December 3, 1998, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent first selectman violated the Freedom of Information Act by:

a. denying her certain information requested; and

b. holding an improper executive session.

        3. With respect to the allegation described in paragraph 2a, above, it is found that by letter dated November 6, 1998, the complainant requested that the respondent first selectman provide her with the qualifications of the individuals present at the October 29, 1998 meeting and interested in the development rights to the Baltic Mill Site. She requested resumes, a list of all projects completed and recommendations.

        4. It is found that the respondent first selectman does not have or maintain any records responsive to the complainant’s request for qualifications, resumes, projects completed and recommendations of the individuals interested in developing the Baltic Mill Site.

        5. It is therefore, concluded that the respondent first selectman did not violate 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S., when he failed to provide the complainant with the requested records.

        6. With respect to the allegation described in paragraph 2b, above, it is found that the complaint alleges the improper convening of an executive session on October 29, 1998.

        7. Section 1-21i(b)(1), G.S., provides in relevant part:

Any person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-19 or wrongfully denied the right to attend any meeting of a public agency or denied any other right conferred by the Freedom of Information Act may appeal therefrom to the Freedom of Information Commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said commission. A notice of appeal shall be filed within thirty days after such denial, except in the case of an unnoticed or secret meeting, in which case the appeal shall be filed within thirty days after the person filing the appeal receives notice in fact that such meeting was held. For purposes of this subsection, such notice of appeal shall be deemed to be filed on the date it is received by said commission or on the date it is postmarked, if received more than thirty days after the date of the denial from which such appeal is taken. [Emphasis added.]

        8. It is found that the notice of appeal in this matter was postmarked and therefore filed on December 3, 1998, which date is beyond the appropriate thirty day period permitted pursuant to 1-21i(b)(1), G.S., for filing of a complaint concerning a meeting that occurred on October 29, 1998.

        9. It is therefore, concluded that the Commission lacks jurisdiction to hear the merits of the allegation concerning the October 29, 1998 meeting and executive session.

        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 April 14, 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:

 

Linda A. Puetz
PO Box 103
Hanover, CT 06350-0103
First Selectman,
Town of Sprague; and
Town of Sprague
c/o Atty. Richard S. Cody
PO Box 425
21 East Main Street
Mystic, CT 06355

 

 

__________________________

Melanie R. Balfour

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC1998-375FD/mrb04151999