FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Charles M. Watts,

 

 

Complainants

 

 

against

 

Docket #FIC 1999-029

Police Commission, Town of Hamden,

 

 

Respondents

June 9, 1999

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 16, 1999 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 1-200(1), G.S., (formerly 1-18a(1), G.S.).

 

2.  By letter dated January 15, 1999, and filed on January 21, 1999, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act on January 13, 1999 by permitting Nicholas Troiano, an assistant town attorney and Robert Nolan, chief of police, to remain in attendance throughout the entire executive session.

 

3.  Section 1-231(a), G.S., (formerly 1-21g(a), G.S.), provides:

 

At an executive session of a public agency, attendance shall be limited to members of said body and persons invited by said body to present testimony or opinion pertinent to matters before said body provided that such persons' attendance shall be limited to the period for which their presence is necessary to present such testimony or opinion and, provided further, that the minutes of such executive session shall disclose all persons who are in attendance except job applicants who attend for the purpose of being interviewed by such agency.  [Emphasis added.]

 

4.  It is found that the respondent held a regular meeting on January 13, 1999 during which it held an executive session and at that time interviewed candidates, including the complainant, for a promotion.

 

5. It is found that those attending the executive session were: the members of the respondent, Assistant Town Attorney Troiano and Police Chief Robert Nolan.

 

6.  It is found that the respondent failed to prove that Assistant Town Attorney Troiano and Police Chief Robert Nolan’s attendance at the executive session was limited to the period for which their presence was necessary to present testimony or opinion within the meaning of 1-231(a), G.S., (formerly 1-21g(a), G.S.).

 

7.  It is therefore, concluded that the respondent violated 1-231(a), G.S., (formerly 1-21g(a), G.S.), when it permitted the assistant town attorney and the chief of police to remain in attendance at the executive session for the entire duration of such executive session.

 

 

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

1.  Henceforth, the respondent commission shall strictly comply with the executive session provisions of 1-231(a), G.S., (formerly 1-21g(a), G.S.).

 

 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of

June 9, 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:

 

 

Charles M. Watts

c/o Atty. Angelica N. Papastavros

51 Elm Street, Suite 409

New Haven, CT  06510

 

Police Commission,

Town of Hamden

c/o Atty. Nicholas M. Troiano

Hamden Town Attorney

2372 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT  06518

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

__________________________

Melanie R. Balfour

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC1999-029FD/mrb/06141999