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 2003-227

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 #FIC2003-226, 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 violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by not complying with his May 30, 2003 request for certain records, and requesting that the maximum civil penalty be levied against the individual respondents.

 

3.  It is found that by letter dated May 30, 2003 addressed to Branford Board of Selectmen, not the respondents, the complainant requested:

 

… all records of the meeting between First Selectman Unk DaRos and Police Commissioners John Grossman and Bruce Morris during which Commissioners Grossman & Morris threw down their badges on the table and threatened to resign if Commissioner Jacobs was re-appointed.  This request for records to include but not limited to the time and date of the meeting, names of all persons present, all hand written notes, letters involving the meeting, voice mail, e-mail, faxes, videotape, audio tape, computer records, memorandums, calendars, (personal and office), pictures, photocopies, phone logs, phone messages, and PDA records.

 

4.  It is found that the clerk of the board of selectmen, who is not a respondent,  reviewed the first selectman’s daily calendar from November 2002 through June 4, 2003 to locate any meetings between the first selectman and the named respondent police commissioners.  The clerk responded to the complainant by letter dated June 4, 2003, enclosing a copy of the first selectman’s calendar for February 17-19, 2003, which referenced a meeting between the first selectman and the respondents Bruce Morris, John Mooney and John Grossman on Wednesday February 19, 2003. 

 

5.  It is found that first selectman DaRos is an ex officio member of the respondent board of police commissioners.

 

6.  It  is also found, however, that no request for the records identified in paragraph 3 of the findings, above, was made to the respondents.

 

7.  It is also found that, even had such a request been made, the only record responsive to the complainant’s misdirected request is a calendar notation on respondent commissioner Grossman’s personal digital assistant (“PDA”) or handheld device, which record is addressed in Docket #FIC 2003-178, David R. Jacobs v. Branford Board of Police Commissioners et al.

 

8.  It is concluded that, since the complainant made his request to the board of selectmen and not to the respondents, the Commission lacks jurisdiction to determine whether there was any violation of the FOI Act by the respondents.

 

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/2003-227/FD/mes/05/13/2004