FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Diane Struzzi and The Hartford Courant,  
  Complainants  
  against   Docket #FIC 2004-578

Commissioner, Department of Correction,

State of Connecticut,

 
  Respondent May 11, 2005
       

  

            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 13, 2005 and continued on January 19, 2005 and February 15, 2005, at which times the complainants and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  At the hearing held on January 13, 2005, the complainant’s January 13, 2005 motion to consolidate an additional complaint dated and filed by the complainant on January 12, 2005, was granted.  For purposes of hearing, therefore, the above-captioned matter was consolidated with Docket #FIC 2005-019; Diane Struzzi and The Hartford Courant v. Commissioner, Department of Correction, State of Connecticut.

 

            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.  The complainants requested an expedited hearing in this matter, and the Commission granted that request pursuant to 1-206(b)(1), G.S., and 1-21j-29(b) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

 

            3.  By letter dated December 16, 2004, the complainants posed certain questions and requested certain information concerning what was understood to be the scheduled execution of  Michael Ross.  More specifically, the complainants requested the following information:

 

a.  The identities of the outside providers participating in the Ross execution;

 

b.  The functions of such outside providers;

 

c.  A copy of the contracts with such outside providers;

 

d.  All correspondence, e-mails and telephone messages with such outside providers;

 

e.  The amount of money the state is paying such outside providers;

 

f.  The authority under which the state is contracting with such outside providers;

 

g.  The identity of the Connecticut licensed and practicing physician who certified that the executioner was trained to his or her satisfaction; and

 

h.  The identity of the person inserting the intravenous catheter(s) and the qualifications that such person are required to possess.

 

            4.  By letter dated December 21, 2004, the Department of Correction (“DOC”) responded to the complainants’ December 16, 2004 request, (a) providing the legal authority references as described in paragraph 3(f), above; (b) stating that there is no specific budget for the execution in question and consequently the response to the request described in paragraph 3(e), above, and therefore the actual costs, cannot be determined until after the execution; and (c) denying the remainder of the requested information described in paragraph 3, above.

 

            5.  By letter dated and filed with the Commission on December 30, 2004, the complainants appealed the foregoing denial to the Commission.

 

            6.  By letter dated January 6, 2005, the complainants restated and supplemented their December 16, 2004 request by requesting the following:

 

a.  “Any and all documents (including correspondence, e-mail, phone messages, contracts, memos, etc.) related to costs attributable to the planned execution of Michael Ross.”

 

b.  “Any and all documents (including correspondence, e-mail, phone messages, contracts, memos, etc.) related to the hiring, contracting with or assigning of participants involved in the execution process, the qualifications of those participants and the training and experience of those participants.”

 

c.  “Any and all documents (including correspondence, e-mail, phone messages, contracts, memos, etc.) related to the Connecticut-licensed physician who is required under state law to approve the training of the executioner.”

 

d.  “The number and names of the special task force of corrections [sic] officers assigned to prisoner Michael Ross since he entered Osborn Correctional Institution, and any and all documents (including correspondence, e-mail, phone messages, contracts, memos, etc.) related to that special task force and its costs.”

 

e.  “any and all documents relating to the method of delivering the lethal injection, including any device Connecticut has procured to carry out this function.”

 

            7.  By letter dated January 6, 2005, the DOC acknowledged receipt of the complainants’ letter of same date.

 

            8.  By letter dated January 12, 2005, the DOC responded to both of the complainants’ letters of request, again providing the requested legal authority.

 

            9.  On January 13, 2005, the DOC provided the complainants with (a) a certificate issued by the state Department of Consumer Protection; and (b) certain purchase orders and request forms.  The DOC denied the complainants the remainder of the requested information.

 

            10.  By letter dated January 13, 2005, the complainants again appealed to the Commission from the denial described in paragraph 9, above, which complaint is identified as FIC Docket #2005-019, Diane Struzzi and The Hartford Courant v. Commissioner, Department of Correction, State of Connecticut.

 

            11.  It is concluded that the merits of the complaint in this matter have been subsumed into the matter of FIC 2005-019 and that such merits are addressed in the final decision of that matter.

 

            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 May 11, 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:

 

Diane Struzzi and The Hartford Courant

c/o William  S. Fish, Jr., Esq.

Tyler Cooper & Alcorn LLP

CityPlace – 35th floor

Hartford, CT 06103-3488

 

Commissioner, Department of Correction,

State of Connecticut

c/o Steven R. Strom, Esq.

Assistant Attorney General and

Henri Alexandre, Esq.

Assistant Attorney General

110 Sherman Street

Hartford, CT 06105

 

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2004-578FD/paj/5/16/2005