In the Matter of a Complaint by


Daniel Sharoh and Milford Police Union,

Local 899,






 Docket #FIC 2002-451

City Attorney, City of Milford; and City of Milford,




July 9, 2003





The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 25, 2003, at which time the complainants and the respondents 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of §1-200(1), G.S.


2.  It is found that, by letter dated July 15, 2002, to the Mayor of the City of Milford (hereinafter “Mayor”), the complainants requested various categories of documentation regarding the benefit packages of the respondent City Attorney, Milford Chief of Police (hereinafter “Chief”) and the Milford Police Department’s (hereinafter “MPD”) Inspector of Operations (hereinafter “Inspector”). 


3.  More specifically, the request regarding the City Attorney included the following:


a.  Documentation of what the expenses paid by the City of Milford are for the premiums of the City Attorney’s disability insurance policy and the newly instituted Long Term Care Insurance Policy;


b.  An inquiry whether these policies terminate upon the City Attorney’s retirement or do they carry into retirement;


c.  Documentation regarding the City Attorney’s total benefit package, including pension benefits;

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d.  Total contributions by the City Attorney into the city pension

plan yearly since her date of hire; and


e.  Total compensation for calendar years 1997-2001, inclusive, paid by the City of Milford to the City Attorney.


4.  With respect to the Chief and Inspector, the complainant requested the following:


a.  Benefit packages of each;


b.  Any additional benefits provided to each not listed by City Ordinance;


c.  Clarification whether a contract exists between the City of Milford and Chief and/or Inspector;


d.  Pension benefits for each;


e.  Total contributions paid by each into the pension plan;


f.  An accounting of the sick time accounts of each from the dates of hire to present, including all transfers into and out of the accounts; and


g.  An accounting of the compensation time accounts of each from the dates of hire to present, including all transfers into and out of the accounts.


5.  It is found that, by letter dated July 19, 2002, the Mayor informed the complainants that he had referred the complainants’ requests to the City Attorney for a response. 


6.  It is found that, by letter dated July 23, 2002, the respondent City Attorney advised the complainants that the City would provide responsive documents to the extent they exist and as required by law.  The letter stated that the respondent City Attorney was in the process of locating the documents and would advise the complainants of the cost and availability as soon as possible.  The letter also stated that the complainants’ questions regarding the City Attorney, Chief and Inspector are not subject to the Freedom of Information (hereinafter “FOI”) laws.


7.  In correspondence dated July 31, 2002, the respondent City Attorney forwarded to the complainants 103 pages of records.  The records provided included copies of W-2 forms, City ordinances establishing benefits for the Chief and Inspector’s positions, pension records, pension contributions, certain insurance premium invoices, and certain computer generated sick and accumulated time records for the Chief and Inspector.  The letter stated:

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“The cost for these materials is $51.50 plus postage.  Other materials regarding sick time and acc-time records for the Police Chief and Inspector prior to 1997 cannot be accessed by computer and will take considerable time and expense to retrieve, per Lt. Butler’s memo, which is also attached.”


8.  It is found that, the attached memorandum dated July 31, 2002, from Lieutenant Butler of the MPD estimated that searching archives for additional records would take two employees at least a week.  The memorandum further stated that when the computer system was put into effect, all balances in the vacation, sick, and accumulated time accounts were transferred from manual to computer records.


            9.  It is found that, in correspondence dated September 8, 2002, the complainants paid the fee for the records sent on July 31, 2002, and notified the respondent City Attorney that they would not pay any research costs.  The complainants also stated that the City’s response failed to include certain documents, specifically a copy of a particular ordinance.  The letter further stated that the complainants had subsequently obtained the document from the City Clerk’s Office, and they therefore, no longer needed it.  The complainants also stated that they were still seeking a copy of the respondent City Attorney’s long-term care policy, along with copies of the “working contracts”, “total accounting of the Sick Time and Accumulated Time accounts” and certain pension contribution information for the Chief and Inspector.


            10.  It is found that under cover letter dated September 17, 2002, the respondent City Attorney provided additional records to the complainants and advised that the City had no other records and that the records supplied with respect to the Chief and Inspector included total net balances. It also asked the complainants to remit an additional $7.50 plus postage for copying costs.


11.  By letter dated September 19, 2002 and filed on September 24, 2002, the complainants appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents failed to comply with their request, as described in paragraph 2, above.  In their letter, the complainants indicated that they were still seeking access to:


a.  Copies of the working contracts of the Chief and Inspector; and


b.      The total accounting of the Chief’s and Inspector’s sick time and accumulated time accounts including total current balances, from dates of hire.


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            12.  At the hearing on this matter, the respondents claimed that neither the Milford City Attorney’s Office nor the City Attorney are proper party respondents in this appeal.


            13.  With respect to the respondent’s claim in paragraph 12, above, the City Attorney’s office is not named as a party respondent in this matter.  With respect to the City Attorney, it is found that the complainants’ requests were forwarded to the City Attorney and such requests were responded to and handled by the City Attorney, as outlined in paragraphs 5 through 10, above.  The City Attorney is therefore a proper party respondent in this matter.


            14.  At the hearing on this matter, the respondents further claimed that the complainants filed their appeal in an untimely manner.


15.   Section §1-206(b)(1), G.S., states in relevant part:


“Any person denied . . . any . . . right conferred by the [FOI] Act may appeal therefrom to the Freedom of Information Commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said commission.  A notice of appeal shall be filed within thirty days after such denial, except in the case of an unnoticed or secret meeting . . . .”


16.  It is found that until September 17, 2003, the respondents were actively engaged in attempting to comply with the complainants’ request for records.  It is further found that September 17, 2003 constitutes the date of the alleged denial by the respondents.  It is therefore concluded that the complainants’ appeal to the Commission dated September 19, 2003, was filed within the thirty-day jurisdictional mandate for filing appeals as set forth in §1-206(b)(1), G.S.


17.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainants presented for the first time a document detailing a number of additional alleged deficiencies in the records provided by the respondents.


18. It is found that with respect to the document described in paragraph 17, above, since the additional deficiencies were not raised in the complaint, the Commission lacks jurisdiction to consider them and they will therefore not be addressed herein.


19.  Section 1-200(5), G.S., defines “public records” to include:

“…any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.”

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20. Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:


“[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 (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212….”


            21.  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.”


            22.  It is found that to the extent records exist that are responsive to the complainant’s request, such records are public records within the meaning of §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.


            23.  With respect to the complainants’ claim that certain accumulated time records were not provided, it is found that the computer generated “accountings” of the Chief’s and Inspector’s sick leave and accumulated time accounts, created by Lieutenant Butler along with the paper records that were provided earlier are responsive to the complainants’ request and that no other responsive records exist.


            24.  It is concluded that under the facts and circumstances of this case, records concerning the Chief’s and Inspector’s accumulated time accounts were promptly provided.


            25.  With respect to the complainants’ request for copies of the “working contracts” of both the Chief and Inspector, it is found that the complainants’ request dated July 15, 2002, reflects that the complainants were advised by the Milford City Clerk and the Milford Personnel Director that there were no contracts on file for the Chief and Inspector.  It is further found that the City Attorney, in the letter dated September 17, 2003, informed the complainants that there were no contracts.


            26.  It is found that there are no records concerning the “working contracts” of both the Chief and Inspector.


27.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate the provisions of  §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., and any other provision of the FOI Act in this matter.


28.  Also at the hearing on this matter the respondents requested the imposition of civil penalties against the complainants pursuant to §1-206(b)(2), G.S.

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            29.  In its discretion, the Commission declines to consider the imposition of a civil penalty against the complainants in this case.


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 July 9, 2003.




Ann B. Gimmartino

Acting Clerk of the Commission

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Daniel Sharoh and

Milford Police Union, Local 899

c/o Eric Brown, Esq.

AFSCME Council 15 Legal Department

290 Pratt Street

Meriden, CT  06450



City Attorney, City of Milford; and

City of Milford

c/o Marilyn J. Lipton, Esq.

City Attorney

City Hall, 100 River Street

Milford, CT  06460





Ann B. Gimmartino

Acting Clerk of the Commission