FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Mark H. Ciliano,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-367
Bette J. Giesing,
Mayor, City of Groton,
Respondent September 8, 1999

        The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 4, 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. It is found that by letter dated November 9, 1998 and hand delivered on November 16, 1998, the complainant requested that the respondent provide him with a copy of the check used to pay for the police department’s morale survey (hereinafter "morale survey") results and the city budget account from which the check was issued. The complainant also requested a copy of any correspondence between the city attorney and Limitless Consulting Group (hereinafter "Limitless correspondence") regarding the survey.

        3. It is found that by letter dated November 19, 1998, a response was sent to the complainant from the department of finance of the City of Groton which informed the complainant that the morale survey was charged to the police department’s expense account for training and professional development and that while a request for a copy of the Limitless correspondence had been made to the city attorney, the department of finance had not received anything in response. A copy of the requested check was enclosed.

        4. It is found that by letter dated November 23, 1998 and filed on November 25, 1998, the complainant appealed to this Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information ("FOI") Act by failing to provide him with copies of the requested Limitless correspondence. The complainant requested the imposition of civil penalties.

        5. Section 1-210(a), G.S. [formerly 1-19(a), G.S.], provides in relevant part that:

Except 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.

        6. 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.

        7. It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 1-210(a), G.S. [formerly 1-19(a), G.S.].

        8. It is found that on or about November 24, 1998, the respondent provided the complainant with copies of the requested Limitless correspondence.

        9. At the hearing on this matter, the complainant argued that while he did receive all of the information he requested, not all of the requested records were provided promptly, as the statute requires.

        10. It is found that the complainant hand delivered his request at approximately 7:30 p.m. on November 16, 1998 during a Groton City Council meeting. The complainant received a copy of the requested check along with the information he was seeking within three business days and the requested Limitless correspondence, which had to be obtained from the city attorney, within six business days of his request.

        11. It is found that under the facts and circumstances of this case, the respondent complied promptly with the complainant’s request and it is therefore concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-210(a), G.S. [formerly 1-19(a), G.S.], or 1-212(a), G.S. [formerly 1-15(a), G.S. and the request for civil penalties is denied.

 

        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

September 8, 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:

 

Mark H. Ciliano
10 Triton Place
Groton, CT 06340
Bette J. Giesing, Mayor, City of Groton
c/o Atty. Peter S. Gianacoplos
PO Box 942
Groton, CT 06340-0942
 

 

__________________________

Melanie R. Balfour

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC1998-367FD/mrb/09091999