FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Wesley S. Lubee, Jr.,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2003-409

Board of Commissioners, Housing

Authority, Town of Wallingford,

 
  Respondent  October 13, 2004
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 27, 2004, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.   For purposes of hearing, this matter was consolidated with Docket# FIC 2003-381; Wesley S. Lubee Jr.  v. Board of Commissioners, Housing Authority, Town of Wallingford; Docket# FIC 2003-393; Wesley S. Lubee, Jr. v. Board of Commissioners, Housing Authority, Town of Wallingford; Docket# FIC 2003-413; Wesley S. Lubee, Jr. v. Board of Commissioners, Housing Authority, Town of Wallingford; and Docket# FIC 2003-415; Wesley S. Lubee, Jr. v. Board of Commissioners, Housing Authority, Town of Wallingford.

 

            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 delivered to the respondent on November 3, 2003, the complainant requested that the respondent provide him with copies of the minutes of the respondent’s meetings for June, July, August, September, and October 2003.

 

3.  By letter of complaint dated November 13, 2003 and filed on November 17, 2003, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information [hereinafter “FOI”] Act in the following respects:

 

a.  by failing to promptly comply with the request for minutes described in paragraph 2, above, and by failing to have such minutes available within seven days of the respective meetings; and

 

b.  by failing to note discussion of a $1,200,000.00 real property sale in any executive sessions which may have been held on the following dates: January 23, 2001, February 27, 2001, March 21, 2001, May 9, 2001, July 17, 2001, September 25, 2001, October 23, 2001, November 27, 2001, January 23, 2002, January 28, 2002, February 5, 2002, February 26, 2002, March 21, 2002, April 19, 2002, May 28, 2002, July 19, 2002, September 24, 2002, October 22, 2002, November 26, 2002, December 13, 2002, February 23, 2003, March 26, 2003, April 23, 2003, and May 27, 2003.  

 

4.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainant testified that the complaint described in paragraph 3.b, above, was made before he had access to the complete minutes of the meetings described therein.  Since he has received such unredacted minutes, the complainant indicated that he had nothing further to say with respect to such allegation.  Accordingly, since there is no evidence in the record regarding the allegation set forth in paragraph 3.b, above, the Commission cannot conclude that any violation of the FOI Act occurred as so alleged.   

 

            5.  With respect to the allegation described in paragraph 3.a, above, 1-225(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that: “…minutes shall be available for public inspection within seven days of the session to which they refer.”

 

6.  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…receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212….

 

7.  Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part: “[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.”  

 

8.  It is found that the respondent did not conduct meetings in June, July, or August of 2003.   However, it is also found that the respondent did conduct meetings on September 23, 2003 and October 28, 2003.  

 

9.  It is found that the minutes for the September 23, 2003 meeting were available on September 25, 2003, and that the minutes for the October 28, 2003 meeting were available on November 17, 2003.   It is further found that both sets of minutes described herein were provided to the complainant shortly after November 17, 2003.

 

10.  At the hearing in this matter, the respondent acknowledged that it violated 1-225(a), G.S., by failing to have minutes of its October 28, 2003 meeting available within seven days.  The respondent also acknowledged that it violated 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., by failing to promptly provide the complainant with a copy of the minutes for the September 23, 2003 meeting. 

 

11.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondent violated 1-225(a), G.S., with respect to the October 28, 2003 meeting minutes, as alleged in paragraph 3.a, above, and that the respondent violated 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., with respect to the September 23, 2003 meeting minutes, as alleged in paragraph 3.a, above.   

 

12.  At the hearing in this matter, the respondent pledged to strictly comply with the provisions of 1-210(a), 1-212(a), and 1-225(a), G.S., in the future. 

 

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 with respect to the allegation described in paragraph 3.b of the findings, above.  

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 13, 2004.

 

________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

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:

 

                    Wesley S. Lubee, Jr.

15 Montowese Trail

Wallingford, CT 06492

 

Board of Commissioners,

Housing Authority,

Town of Wallingford

c/o E. James Loughlin, Esq.

Loughlin Fitzgerald

150 South Main Street

Wallingford, CT 06492

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

FIC/2003-409FD/paj/10/14/2004