FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Gerald M. Griffin, Jr.,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2005-007

President, Volunteer Fire Department,

Town of Hebron,

 
  Respondent October 11, 2005
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 16, 2005, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared 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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  It is found that by letter dated December 30, 2004, the complainant requested that the respondent permit him to inspect “the petition involving the recall of Assistant Chief Kris Kolaczenko” including the signatures of the twenty members who signed the petition (hereinafter “requested record”).

 

3.  It is found that the respondent permitted the complainant to inspect a portion of the petition, but denied the request with respect to the signatures by letter dated December 31, 2004.

 

4.  Having failed to receive access to the requested record, the complainant, by letter of complaint dated December 31, 2004, and filed on January 5, 2005, appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act by denying him access to inspect the requested record. 

 

5.  At the hearing in this matter the respondent explained that he did not provide the complainant with access to the requested record including the signatures because he feared retaliation against those who signed the petition.

 

6.  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….  [Emphasis added].

 

7.  It is found that the respondent maintains the requested record, and such record is a public record within the meaning of 1-210(a), G.S.

 

8.  It is also found that the respondent failed to prove that any federal law or state statute permits or requires him to withhold the requested record from the complainant.    

 

9.  Consequently, it is concluded that the respondent violated 1-210(a), G.S.,

when he failed to permit the complainant access to inspect the requested record.

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

1.  Forthwith, the respondent shall permit the complainant access to inspect the requested record including the signatures.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of October 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:

 

Gerald M. Griffin, Jr.

305 Church Street

Amston, CT 06248

 

President, Volunteer Fire Department,

Town of Hebron

c/o Les Kittle, President,

Volunteer Fire Department,

Town of Hebron

44 Main Street

Hebron, CT 06248

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2005-007FD/paj/10/13/2005