FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Beth V. Denton,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2004-484

Mayor, City of West Haven; and

Councilman-at-Large, City of West Haven,

 
  Respondents August 10, 2005
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 21, 2005, at which time the complainant and the respondents 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.  The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  By letter of complaint received and filed October 20, 2004, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by not complying with her request for copies of certain letters, and requesting that penalties be imposed if violations of the FOI Act were committed by the respondents.

 

3.  It is found that by letter dated September 30, 2004, the complainant requested the following records concerning the “Saw Mill Road project” from the respondent Mayor:

 

Letters from, the State[’]s Attorney’s office, Office of Policy [and] Management, FBI and any other letters mentioned at Monday’s City Council Meeting September 27, 2004 that refers to the Saw Mill Road investigation.

 

4.  It is found that, by letter dated October 5, 2004,  the respondent Mayor provided a copy of a letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigation dated April 16, 2004, and indicated to the complainant that the Mayor’s office did not have any other documents responsive to her request. 


            5.  It is found that the complainant, by letter dated October 6, 2004, requested the same records identified in paragraph 3 of the findings, above, from the respondent  Councilman-at-Large.

 

6.  It is found that, by letter dated October 8, 2004, the respondent Councilman-at-Large indicated that he was not in possession of any of the requested documents.

 

7.  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.

 

8.  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. 

 

9.  It is concluded that the April 16, 2004 letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigation is a  public record within the meaning of 1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S, and that it was provided to the complainant promptly.

 

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

 

11.  It is concluded therefore that neither respondent violated 1-210(a), G.S.


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 August 10, 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:

 

Beth V. Denton

82 Woodvale Road

West Haven, CT 06516

 

Mayor, City of West Haven; and

Councilman-at-Large,

City of West Haven

c/o Henry C. Szadkowski, Esq.

West Haven Corporation Counsel

355 Main Street

West Haven, CT 06516

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2004-484FD/paj/8/16/2005