FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Esther Medford,

 

Complainant

 

 

against

Docket #FIC 2000-550

Chairman, Town Council,
Town of Wolcott,

 

 

Respondent

 February 28, 2001

 

 

 

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 1, 2000, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared 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 ß1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.      By letter dated September 15, 2000 to the respondent, the complainant made a request for:

 

a.       ďany and all pertinent information regarding pensions; including pamphlets, booklets, which contain qualifications and descriptions . . . including a list of all elected officials and employees receiving pensions, the dates they became eligible and the date benefits became effective;

 

b.      any and all pertinent information regarding health insurance benefits, pamphlets, booklets, which contain qualifications and descriptions . . . including a list of all elected officials and employees receiving health insurance benefits, the dates they became eligible and the date the benefits became effective;

 

c.       any and all pertinent information, pamphlets, booklets, which contain qualifications and descriptions regarding life insurance benefits . . . including a list of all elected officials and employees receiving life insurance benefits, the dates they became eligible and the date the benefits became effective;

d.      any and all pertinent information, pamphlets, booklets, descriptions of any other fringe benefits, and the qualifying conditions, received by elected officials and part time employees;

 

e.       any and all pertinent information pertaining to job classifications and job descriptions of all elected officials and part time employees  . . . including handbooks, rules and regulations;

 

f.        any and all pertinent documentation as to required office hours, office coverage and schedules of all elected officials and part-time employees; and

 

g.       a copy of the denial or granting letter regarding the issuance of benefits to me.Ē

 

3.      By letter dated October 3, 2000 and filed on October 4, 2000 the complainant appealed to this Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (ďFOIĒ) Act by failing to respond to or comply with her request.

 

4.      Section 1-210(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.

 

5.      Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that ď[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record . . . .Ē

 

6.      It is found that the respondent did not become aware of the complainantís request until September 28, 2000, and that by letter dated October 2, 2000 and received by the complainant on October 3, 2000, the respondent informed the complainant that her request was received and that she could expect to receive the requested records by October 23, 2000.

 

7.      It is found that by letter dated October 19, 2000 to the complainant, the respondent responded to the complainantís request and provided the following records:     

 

a.       with respect to the complainantís request described in paragraph 2a, above, the respondent provided the Plan Definition and Eligibility, and a list of employees including their hire date, normal retirement date, and the status of their pensions as of January 1, 2000;

 

b.      with respect to the complainantís request described in paragraph 2b, above, the respondent provided the AFSCME Council 4 Union Contract, information pertaining to benefits for Town Hall employees, and an employee list of insurance coverage;

 

c.       with respect to the complainantís request described in paragraph 2c, above, the respondent provided the employee list of life insurance and the amount of coverage;

 

d.      with respect to the complainantís request described in paragraph 2d, above, the respondent informed the complainant that no other fringe benefits are offered by the town;

 

e.       with respect to the complainantís request described in paragraph 2e, above, the respondent provided the town charter and informed the complainant that no employee handbook, rules or regulations exist;

 

f.        with respect to the complainantís request described in paragraph 2f, above, the respondent provided the AFSCME Council 4 agreement letter stating town hall office hours, minutes of a May 5, 1999 town council meeting, and the transcript of a May 6, 1999 town council meeting; and

 

g.       and with respect to the complainantís request described in paragraph 2b, above, the respondent informed the complainant that no such letter could be found in the offices of the town council.

 

8.      It is found that the respondent provided the complainant with all records maintained by him that were responsive to the complainantís request.

 

9.      If is found that under the circumstances of this case, as described in paragraph 6, above, the respondent promptly complied with the complainantís request pursuant to ß1-210(a), G.S.

 

10.  It is concluded, therefore, that the respondent did not violate the provisions of the FOI Act, as alleged by the complainant.

 

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 February 28, 2001.

 

_________________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

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:

 

Esther Medford

34 Colby Lane

Wolcott, CT 06716

 

Chairman, Town Council

Town of Wolcott

c/o Brian Tynan, Esq.

Tynan & Iannone

250 Wolcott Road

Wolcott, CT 06716

 

 

 

________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

FIC/2000-550/FD/paj/03/07/2001