FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
David R. Jacobs,
  Complainant  
  against Docket #FIC 2003-226

Jon Grossman, Chairman,

Board of Police Commissioners,

Town of Branford;

Daniel Bullard,

Joanne McGuigan,

John Mooney,

Bruce Morris, and

Neil Velleca, as members,

Board of Police Commissioners,

Town of Branford; and

Board of Police Commissioners,

Town of Branford,

 
  Respondents May 12, 2004
       

           

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 20, 2003, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The matter was consolidated for hearing with Docket #FIC 2003-178, David R. Jacobs v. Branford Police Commission et al.; Docket #FIC2003-227, David R. Jacobs v. Branford Police Commission et al; and Docket #FIC 2003-228, David R. Jacobs v. Branford Police Commission et al.

 

            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.  By letter received and filed June 18, 2003, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents Bruce Morris, John Mooney and Jon Grossman violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”)  Act by conducting an illegal meeting with the Branford first selectman on February 19, 2003.

 

3.  It is found that the respondents Morris, Mooney and Grossman met with the first selectman in his office on February 19, 2003 to voice their opposition to the reappointment of the complainant. 

 

4.  Section 1-206(b)(1), G.S., provides: “A notice of appeal shall be filed within thirty days after such denial [of the right to attend any meeting of a public agency], except in the case of an unnoticed or secret meeting, in which case the appeal shall be filed within thirty days after the person filing the appeal receives notice in fact that such meeting was held. 

 

5.  It is found that the February 19, 2003 meeting was unnoticed.

 

6.  The complainant maintains that he did not have notice of the February 19, 2003 meeting until June 4, 2003 when he received a copy of the first selectman’s calendar, notating the February 19, 2003 meeting.  See Docket #FIC 2003-178, David R. Jacobs v. Branford Board of Police Commissioners et al., paragraph 4.

 

7.  However, it is found that the complainant received notice in fact of the February 19, 2003 meeting on or about March 19, 2003.  While his receipt on or about June 4, 2003 of the first selectman’s calendar may have confirmed his knowledge of the February 19, 2003 meeting, he testified that he had knowledge of the February 19, 2003 meeting on or about March 19, 2003.

 

8.  It  is concluded that the Commission lacks jurisdiction to hear the complaint, pursuant to 1-206(b)(1), G.S, because the complaint was filed approximately 90 days after the complainant first received notice in fact of the February 19, 2003 meeting.

 

9.  In light of the conclusion in paragraph 8, above, the Commission cannot address the complainant’s request that a civil penalty be assessed against the individual respondents.

 

 

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

 

            1.  The complaint is dismissed. 

 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 12, 2004.

 

 

___________________________________

Ann B. Gimmartino

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:

 

David R. Jacobs

55 Swift Street

Branford, CT  06405 

 

Jon Grossman, Chairman,

Board of Police Commissioners,

Town of Branford;

Daniel Bullard,

Joanne McGuigan,

John Mooney,

Bruce Morris, and

Neil Velleca, as members,

Board of Police Commissioners,

Town of Branford; and

Board of Police Commissioners,

Town of Branford,

c/o Carolyn J. Vacchiano, Esq.

Wiggin & Dana LLP

One Century Tower

P.O. Box 1832

New Haven, CT  06508-1832

 

 

___________________________________

Ann B. Gimmartino

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

FIC/2003-226/FD/mes/05/13/2004