FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Richard Goshdigian,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2005-112
Town Council, Town of West Hartford,  
  Respondent September 14, 2005
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 18, 2005, at which time the complainant and the respondent 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.      It is found that by two e-mail messages to the respondent on or about March 3, 2005, the complainant made a request for certain information and records which included the following: “ all financial information submitted by the golf pro as required by Section 6 of the contract for the years 1998 through 2004 when it becomes available.  Including, but not limited to: Financial statement prepared by CPA, Federal and State Tax return – Schedule C; and Quarterly State of CT sales tax returns” (hereinafter “requested records”). 

 

3.      It is found that by letter dated March 3, 2005, the respondent denied the complainant’s request stating that requested records were exempt from mandatory disclosure pursuant to 1-210(b)(5)(B), G.S.

 

4.      By e-mail dated and filed on March 10, 2005, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying his records request.  At the hearing on this matter, the complainant indicated that he wished to limit his complaint to the denial of the records specifically described in paragraph 2, above, and further indicated that he wished to withdraw his complaint with respect to any other records he requested in the March 3, 2005 request.  Consequently, no other records will be addressed herein.

 

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

 

[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. 

 

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

 

7.      It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 1-210(a), G.S.

 

8.      Section 1-210(b)(5)(B), G.S., provides in relevant part that nothing in the FOI Act shall require the disclosure of  “. . . commercial or financial information given in confidence, not required by statute . . . .”

 

9.      It is found that the requested records are commercial or financial information and were given in confidence within the meaning of 1-210(b)(5)(B), G.S.

 

10.   It is concluded therefore that the requested records are permissibly exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-210(b)(5)(B), G.S.

 

11.   At the hearing on this matter, the complainant claimed that the respondent waived its right to claim the exemption found in 1-210(b)(5)(B), G.S., when it used information contained in the requested records in an October 22, 2004 report and in a February 18, 2005 report of a CPA hired by the town of West Hartford to review its golf revenues, and made those reports public.  It is found, however, that such use and publication does not waive the respondent’s right to claim such exemption.

 

12.   It is concluded that the respondent did not violate the disclosure provisions of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., by denying the complainant’s request for the requested records.

 

 

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 September 14, 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:

 

            Richard Goshdigian

            1248 Farmington Avenue,

            Apt. B-16

            West Hartford, CT 06107

 

Town Council,

Town of West Hartford

c/o Patrick G. Alair, Esq.

Deputy Corporation Counsel

50 South Main Street

West Hartford, CT 06107

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2005-112FD/paj/9/20/2005