In the Matter of a Complaint by


Paul A. Aloi,






Docket #FIC 2001-221

Town Manager, Town of Wethersfield,




January 9, 2002





The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 4, 2001, 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.


2.  It is found that, by letter dated April 17, 2001, to the respondent, the complainant requested copies of:


“[a] all public records and files, correspondence, complaints, letters, and all records of arrest including arrest report, incidents reports, news releases, or other similar reports of arrest, uncorroborated allegations of criminal activity or complaints made against Paul A. Aloi…including but not limited to complaints made by Edward Peruta, Steve Signor, Richard Peruta, Sue Cramer, Bruce Cusinelli and members Wethersfield Community Television;


[b] all public records and files of complaints made to the town in regards to Edward Peruta and Wethersfield Community Television and the towns response to the same;


  [c] all public records as it relates to incidents at 832 Silas Deane Highway, owned by Marsha Aloi…including uncorroborated complaints of Paul A. Aloi made by Security Professionals and any and all tenants and any records of investigations thereof;


[d] all public records, correspondence, investigations as it relates to Paul A. Aloi and Winding Brook Turf Farm including Douglas Morgan, Fire Marshall Santoro, and Assistant Fire Marshal Dignotti, Edward Peruta, Richard Peruta and any other Town, State, and Federal officials and agencies.  All freedom of information requests made by Edward Peruta in regards to Paul A. Aloi, including taped phone complaint made to Assistant Fire Marshal Dignoti by Paul Aloi that were given to and made public by Edward Peruta.  Any records as it relates to allegations of harassment made by Fire Marshal Dignoti to Paul A. Aloi and his family;


[e] all public records, complaints, pending claims, pending litigation, made by citizens or public agency as it relates to Winding Brook Turf Farm including that which relates to Irrigation Pumps, underground gas tanks, and noise complaints by neighbors for either truck traffic, pump noise, or any other complaints since 1985 to any public agency of town state, or federal agencies including any “implementing agency” as defined in section 32-222 Sec 1-200 of the Freedom of Information Act including any activity that causes potential for pollution, erosion, sedimentation of wetlands and watercourse activity, regulated or otherwise, and which adversely affects health, welfare or safety of any individual of the community including storage of gasoline in a non conforming container (unlabeled 55 gallon oil drum) on public recreation property (Mill Woods), scrubbing of Mill Woods property for strawberry fields (1987), excavation of town waterway (Golf Brook 1986) and complaints filed thereof and remedies by town;


[f]…any and all permits, leases, contracts for irrigation pumping from town property or any lease or contract that allows irrigation on town property between Winding Brook Turf Farm including any lease referred to in the ‘Registration of Existing Water Diversion’ application signed by ‘William D. Morgan Jr.’ in 1983…and any irrigation rights between the town that were ‘retained’ by Morgan as stated by town clerk as per your letter dated June 28, 1999…”


            3.  It is found that the respondent assigned the acting town manager to respond to the request described in paragraph 2, above, upon its receipt, since the respondent was about to leave town for a conference. 


4.  By letter dated and filed on May 2, 2001, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information [hereinafter “FOI”] Act by failing to provide him with copies of the requested records. 


5.  It is found that, upon receiving the Commission’s May 7, 2001, notification of the complaint, described in paragraph 4, above, the respondent notified all town departments which he believed might have records responsive to the request described in paragraph 2, above, to search their files for any responsive records.


6.  It is found that, under cover letter dated May 18, 2001, the respondent provided the complainant with copies of the following records responsive to the complainant’s request, as described in paragraph 2, above: a June 28, 1999 letter to the complainant from the town engineer regarding the noise ordinance issue, the irrigation issue, the lease issue, and the pump and fuel storage safety issue; a June 30, 1999 letter to the police chief from Mr. Morgan/Winding Brook Turf Farm relative to the complainant’s behavior; and a document entitled “Right to Flood and Overflow with Water” Manuscript Vol. 115 page 45 of the Wethersfield land records, relating to the Mill Woods Pond.  It is also found that, by such letter, the respondent informed the complainant that there are no pending claims or pending law suits made by citizens or public agencies relating to Winding Brook Turf Farm, that the police chief informed the respondent that he had provided the complainant with all records relative to the requests described in paragraph 2.a, 2.b and 2.c, above, and that the town had provided the complainant with all records responsive to the request described in paragraph 2, above. 


7.  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….”


[Emphasis added].


8.  Section 1-212(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.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainant contended that the respondent did not perform a thorough search of all town records that are responsive to the request described in paragraph 2, above.


10.  It is found that the request described in paragraph 2, above, involves numerous types of records relating to different subject matters, and that any responsive records are likely maintained in several separate town agencies, including the police department, inland-wetlands commission, department of public works, fire marshal, and town clerk. 


11.  It is further found that, under the FOI Act, the respondent is required to search his office and provide the complainant with records that are kept on file or maintained in the respondent’s office.  Although it is laudable that the respondent, as the chief executive of the town,-- attempted to ascertain and locate all records that could possibly be responsive to the complainant’s request, he was not obligated to do so.  A simple response to the complainant indicating the different agencies that would likely maintain the requested records would suffice. 


12.  It is also found that, while attempting to conduct a town-wide search, the respondent did not thoroughly search his own office for any responsive records, including but not limited to, records related to Edward Peruta and Wethersfield Community Television.


13.  It is concluded that, under the facts and circumstances of this case, the respondent violated §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., by failing to promptly provide the complainant with responsive records maintained in the respondent’s office. 


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


1.  If he has not already done so, the respondent shall forthwith search the office of the town manager for the records described in paragraph 2 of the findings, above.  If any responsive records are found, the respondent shall immediately provide copies thereof to the complainant free of charge, and indicate by affidavit to the complainant that such records are the only responsive records that he keeps on file or maintains.  In the alternative, if after such search, the respondent finds no responsive records other than those already provided to the complainant, he shall so inform the complainant by affidavit. 



Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of January 9, 2002.




Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission






Paul A. Aloi

c/o Glenn T. Terk, Esq.

81 Wolcott Hill Road

Wethersfield, CT 06109


Town Manager

Town of Wethersfield

c/o Jayme E. Stamper, Esq.

Rome McGuigan Sabanosh, PC

One State Street

Hartford, CT 06103





Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission