FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Norman E. Sylvia,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-390
State of Connecticut, Office of the
State Treasurer, Second Injury Fund Unit,
Respondents June 30, 1999

        The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 6, 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 1-200(1), G.S. [formerly 1-18a(1), G.S.].

        2. It is found that on or about March 3, 1998, the State’s Attorneys’ office received an anonymous call alleging that the complainant was committing worker’s compensation fraud.

        3. It is found that the State’s Attorneys’ office reported the allegation to the respondent and an investigation by the respondent, which exonerated the complainant, was conducted.

        4. It is found that during the month of November 1998, the complainant made an oral request for a copy of what the complainant understood to be a letter alleging that the complainant was committing worker’s compensation fraud and was told at that time by the director of litigation that it was not the respondent’s policy to release the information requested.

        5. By letter dated December 14, 1998, the complainant made a written request to the respondent for a copy of the letter described in paragraph 4, above.

        6. By letter dated December 18, 1998 and filed with this Commission on December 22, 1998, the complainant alleged that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information ("FOI") Act by denying his request.

        7. Section 1-210(a), G.S. [formerly 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 receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212. Any agency rule or regulation, or part thereof, that conflicts with the provisions of this subsection or diminishes or curtails in any way the rights granted by this subsection shall be void.

        8. Section 1-212(a), G.S. [formerly 1-15(a), G.S.] provides in relevant part that:

[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.

        9. It is found that, to the extent that the requested record described in paragraph 4, above, exists, it is a public record within the meaning of 1-210(a), G.S. [formerly 1-19(a), G.S.].

        10. It is found that, by letter dated January 12, 1999, the respondent responded to the complainant’s letter of December 14, 1998, and informed him that it was not in possession of the requested record.

        11. It is found, however, that the complainant had several conversations with staff at the State’s Attorneys’ office indicating that a letter regarding the allegations described in paragraph 4, above, existed and that such letter had been sent to the respondent.

        12. It is found that the contents of the letter described in paragraph 4, above, were read to the complainant over the telephone during two of the conversations described in paragraph 11, above.

        13. Notwithstanding the finding in paragraph 11, above, it is found that the respondent did not receive the letter described in paragraph 4, above, and that the respondent’s investigation was conducted solely on the basis of the telephone report of the anonymous call made to the State’s Attorneys’ office.

        14. It is found that the respondent does not maintain any record responsive to the complainant’s request.

        15. It is therefore concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-210(a), G.S. or 1-212(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with the requested record.

        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.

        2. The Commission notes that the decision in this case does not preclude the complainant from making a request for the record described in paragraph 4 of the findings, above, to the State’s Attorneys’ office or any other public agency within the state that may by in possession of the record.

 

 

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

June 30, 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:

 

Norman E. Sylvia

PO Box 783

Waterford, CT 06385-0783

 

State of Connecticut,
Office of the State Treasurer,
Second Injury Fund Unit
c/o Atty. Brewster Blackall
Assistant Attorney General
PO Box 120
Hartford, CT 06141-0120

 

 

 

 

__________________________

Melanie R. Balfour

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC1998-390FD/mrb/07011999