FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Dana L. Evans,  
  Complainants  
  against   Docket #FIC 2006-069

Ethics Commission, Town of

Glastonbury,

 
  Respondents January 24, 2007
       

 

 

            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 17, 2006, 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.  The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

            2.  By letter of complaint dated February 19, 2006, and filed with the Commission on February 21, 2006, the complainant alleged that the respondent failed to comply with paragraph two (2) of the order in the Commission's final decision in Docket #FIC 2004-513, Dana Evans v. Ethics Commission, Town of Glastonbury, (hereinafter "Docket #FIC 2004-513").

           

3.  The Commission takes administrative notice of the case file, administrative record and decision in its contested case Docket #FIC 2004-513.  Order number 2 in Docket #FIC 2004-513 stated:

 

“2.  The respondent shall forthwith cause the minutes of its October 25, 2004, meeting to be amended to accurately reflect how its members voted on the issues described in paragraph 5, of the findings, above.” 

 

4.  Paragraph 5, of the findings, in Docket #FIC 2004-513 stated:

 

“5.  It is found that, during the executive session [of its October 25, 2004 meeting], the members of the respondent discussed the correspondence and how the respondent should deal with it.  Specifically, it is found that the members of the respondent considered the respondent’s procedures in effect at the time of receipt of the correspondence, and as more recently amended, and decided by consensus that:

 

a) advisory opinions are to be issued only to employees, officials, or those doing business with the town of Glastonbury;

 

b) complaints are initiated for questions about specific conduct of employees, officials, or those doing business with the town of Glastonbury;

 

c) the respondent would not act on a complaint submitted without specific information;

 

d) the correspondence was not appropriately framed as a complaint; and

 

e) the respondent would send to the complainant new complaint forms and a copy of the respondent’s amended procedures."   

 

5.  It is found that the respondent’s minutes of October 25, 2004, although using different language, set forth the matters described in paragraph 5 of the findings in Docket #FIC 2004-513, but do not indicate the votes of each member regarding such matters. 

 

6.  It is found that, in response to the Commission’s order as described in paragraph 3, above, the respondent amended the minutes of its October 25, 2004, meeting, to add the following as the “penultimate” sentence:

 

“No votes were taken in the closed session.  All conclusions as reported above were reached by general agreement, with no objections raised by any Commissioner.”

 

7.  As found in Docket #FIC 2004-513, although there was no formal vote taken in the October 25, 2004 executive session, the consensus reached was tantamount to a vote.  Therefore, it is concluded that the phrase “no votes were taken” as described in paragraph 6, above, is misleading and in violation of the Commission’s order in Docket #FIC 2004-513. 

 

8.  It is therefore concluded that the respondent violated the FOI Act, as alleged in

the complaint. 

 

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 amend its minutes to reflect the names

      of the members present during the executive session of October 25, 2004, the matters

      described in paragraph 5 of the findings of Docket #FIC 2004-513, and the fact that such

       matters were voted on unanimously.  A copy of such amendment shall be attached to the

       October 25, 2004 minutes. 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of January 24, 2007.

 

________________________________

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:

 

Dana L. Evans

203 Mountain Road

Glastonbury, CT 06033

 

Ethics Commission, Town of

Glastonbury

c/o Henry J. Zaccardi, Esq.

Shipman & Goodwin

One Constitution Plaza

Hartford, CT 06103-1919

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

FIC/2006-069FD/paj/1/31/2007