FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Lorri Cavaliere,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2004-425

Board of Education,

Amity Regional School District #5,

 
  Respondent April 27, 2005
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 13, 2005, at which time the complainant and the respondent board 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.      It is found that the respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.      The Commission takes administrative notice of the record and final decision in contested case Lorri Cavaliere v. Board of Education, Amity Regional School District #5, Docket #FIC 2003-442, notice of which final decision was issued on August 4, 2004.

 

            3.  In particular, the Commission takes administrative notice of paragraph 1 of its order in Docket #FIC 2003-442, which provides:

 

1.      The respondent board shall generate minutes of the January 2003 special meeting described in paragraph 4 of the findings, above, which minutes, at the minimum, shall record the time, date and place of the January 2003 meeting, the members of the respondent board that attended the meeting, the subject of the discussion, any motions that were made and any votes taken. A copy of such minutes shall be provided to the complainant, free of charge, within 7 days of the notice of the final decision in the case.  

 

4.  By letter of complaint dated and filed on September 17, 2004, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondent failed to comply with paragraph 1 of the Commission's order in Docket #FIC 2003-442, as quoted in paragraph 3, above.

 

5.      It is found that the respondent provided the complainant with a copy of the minutes of its January 2003 meeting which it generated in compliance with paragraph 1 of the Commission’s order in Docket #FIC 2003-442.

 

6.      It is found that the minutes described in paragraph 5, above, recorded the time, date and place of the January 2003 special meeting, the members of the respondent board that attended the meeting, the subject of the discussion, and that no motions or votes were taken.

 

7.      It is found that after the complainant filed her complaint in this matter, the respondent board provided the complainant with a copy of another version of the minutes of the January 2003 special meeting which recorded two additional members of the respondent board who were in attendance and the additional fact that no call to order was made.

 

8.       At the hearing on this matter, the complainant argued that the minutes described in paragraphs 6 and 7, above, did not comply with paragraph 1 of the Commission’s order in Docket #FIC 2003-442 because the minutes do not accurately reflect what transpired at that the January 2003 special meeting.  The complainant contended that the meeting was held in executive session and argued that the minutes should record that it was such.  The complainant also contended that the minutes do not reflect that the respondent made a conscious decision to take “no action against” the alleged inappropriate purchase of office furniture.

 

9.      With respect to the complainant’s contention that the minutes should have included that the respondent’s January 2003 special meeting was a discussion held in executive session, it is found that there is no evidence in the record, nor is there a finding in Docket #FIC 2003-442, that the respondent board met in executive session during the January 2003 special meeting.

 

10.   It is also found that none of members of the respondent board who attended the January 2003 special meeting recall that the discussion was held in executive session but such members do recall that those listed in attendance were the only individuals present at such special meeting.

 

11.  It is found therefore that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act by failing to include in the minutes that the discussion at the January 2003 special meeting was held in executive session, as alleged by the complainant.

 

12.  With respect to the complainant's contention that the minutes do not reflect that the respondent made a conscious decision to take “no action against” the alleged inappropriate purchase of the office furniture, it is found that it is clear from the language used in the minutes described in paragraph 6 and 7, above, that after the respondent held its discussion, the decision was to do nothing about the purchase of the office furniture.  It is further found that such language complies with paragraph 1 of the order in Docket #FIC 2003-442.

 

13.  It is concluded that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act by failing to comply with the Commission’s order in Docket #FIC2003-442. 

 

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 April 27, 2005.

 

________________________________

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:

 

Lorri Cavaliere

27 Virginia Rail

Bethany, CT 06524

 

Board of Education,

Amity Regional School District #5

c/o Henry J. Zaccardi, Esq.

Shipman & Goodwin

One Constitution Plaza

Hartford, CT 06103-1919

 

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2004-425FD/paj/4/28/2005