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 2003-228

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 2003-227, 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 the complainant requested copies of “records of the confidential meeting that the Town agreed to provide to [former Branford employee Gary] Verni with the police Chief in paragraph #7 [of the settlement agreement, release and covenant not to sue between Verni and the town of Branford].”

 

4.  It is found that the respondent replied on June 14, 2003, indicating that no meeting took place between the police chief and Verni.

 

5.  It is found that a dispute had previously arisen between Verni and the Branford police department.

 

6.  It  is found that the dispute was settled, and the conditions of the settlement are recited in an agreement dated December, 2002.

 

7.  It is found that, in paragraph 7 of the December, 2002 settlement agreement, the town of Branford agrees to provide Verni with a confidential meeting with the police chief.

 

8.  It is found, however, that no such meeting has occurred.

 

9.  Section 1-200(5), G.S., provides:

 

    “Public records or files” means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.

 

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

 

    Except 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. 

 

11.  It is found that there are no public records responsive to the complainant’s request. 

 

 

12.  It is concluded that the respondents did not violate 2-110(a), G.S.

 

13.  In light of the conclusion in paragraph 12, 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/2003-228/FD/mes/05/13/2004