FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Louis J. Russo,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2006-098

Director, State of Connecticut,

University of Connecticut Health Center,

Office of Health Affairs Policy Planning;

and Dr. Jacob Zamstein,

 
  Respondents February 28, 2007
       

 

            The matter was heard as a contested case on September 28, 2006, at which time Dr. Jacob Zamstein moved to intervene as a party. His motion was granted and the caption of the matter, shown above, has been amended accordingly. A continued hearing was held on November 2, 2006. At both hearings, the complainant and the respondents 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 Director, State of Connecticut, University of Connecticut Health Center, Office of Health Affairs Policy Planning (the “respondent Director”) is a public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1)(A), G.S.

 

2.  It is found that, initially by letter dated November 9, 2005, and then more clearly by letter dated June 22, 2006, the complainant made a request to the respondent Director for “any and all records regarding the suspension on (sic) Dr. Jacob Zamstein” (the “requested records” or sometimes the “records”). 

 

3.  It is found that, by letters dated December 12, 2005 and June 27, 2006, the respondent Director acknowledged, respectively, the complainant’s November 9, 2005 and June 22, 2006 requests. In each letter, the respondent Director also stated that, because Dr. Zamstein had objected to disclosure of most of the requested records, the respondent Director declined to provide the requested records (except for certain minutes; see paragraph 10, below). The respondent Director attached a copy of his December 12, 2005 letter, with its own attachments, to his June 27, 2006 letter to the complainant. 

 

4.  By letter dated March 3, 2006 and filed with the Commission on March 10, 2006, and an additional letter dated June 30, 2006 and filed with the Commission on July 3, 2006, the complainant appealed to the Commission, in effect alleging that the respondent Director’s failure to provide the requested records violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).

 

5.  At the September 28, 2006 hearing, the respondent Director claimed that: a) the FOIC did not have jurisdiction over the complaint, based upon “a statute of limitations” that applied because of the complainant’s earlier requests for the same records; b) the requested records mostly constituted Dr. Zamstein’s “credentialing file”, the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of his privacy; and c) medical peer review proceedings are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 19a-17b, G.S. At the same hearing, the respondent Dr. Zamstein associated himself with the claims of the respondent Director and claimed that disclosure of the requested records would constitute an invasion of his personal privacy, in violation of 1-210(b)(2), G.S. At both hearings, the respondents elaborated that the requested records were a “similar file”, as that term is utilized in 1-210(b)(2), G.S., and that the requested records were highly offensive to a reasonable person.

    

6.  Sections 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., state, respectively, in relevant parts:

 

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. 

 

 

Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record. (emphasis added) 

 

7.  Section 1-210(b), G.S., states, in relevant parts:

 

Nothing in the Freedom of Information Act shall be construed to require disclosure of:

 

(1) Preliminary drafts or notes provided the public agency has determined that the public interest in withholding such documents clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure;

 

(2) Personnel or medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy;

 

….

 

(10) Records, tax returns, reports and statements exempted by federal law or state statutes or communications privileged by the attorney-client relationship;

 

8.  Section 19a-17b, G.S., states in relevant parts:

 

(a)(2) "Peer review" means the procedure for evaluation by health care professionals of the quality and efficiency of services ordered or performed by other health care professionals, including practice analysis, inpatient hospital and extended care facility utilization review, medical audit, ambulatory care review and claims review.

     

….

 

(a) (4) "Medical review committee" shall include any committee of a state or local professional society or a committee of any health care institution established pursuant to written bylaws, and any utilization review committee established pursuant to Public Law 89-97, and a professional standards review organization or a state-wide professional standards review council, established pursuant to Public Law 92-603, engaging in peer review, to gather and review information relating to the care and treatment of patients for the purposes of (A) evaluating and improving the quality of health care rendered; (B) reducing morbidity or mortality; or (C) establishing and enforcing guidelines designed to keep within reasonable bounds the cost of health care. It shall also mean any hospital board or committee reviewing the professional qualifications or activities of its medical staff or applicants for admission thereto.

 

….

 

(d) The proceedings of a medical review committee conducting a peer review shall not be subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in any civil action for or against a health care provider arising out of the matters which are subject to evaluation and review by such committee, and no person who was in attendance at a meeting of such committee shall be permitted or required to testify in any such civil action as to the content of such proceedings…. (emphasis added)

 

9.  It is concluded that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S. 

 

10.  As generally found at paragraph 3, above, the respondent Director, by letter dated December 12, 2005, responded to the complainant’s November 9, 2005 request, providing minutes of four meetings of the Clinical Affairs Subcommittee of the University of Connecticut Health Center Board of Directors. The respondent Director also enclosed a copy of Dr. Zamstein’s objection to disclosure of the requested records, which excepted only minutes of meetings of the Clinical Affairs Subcommittee of the University of Health Center Board of Directors that are in the “public domain”.

 

11.  It is concluded that, in general, persons may make more than one request for the same documents pursuant to the FOIA. Mayor, City of Torrington v. Freedom of Information Commission, CV 01 0511803S, Superior Court, Judicial District of New Britain, March 19, 2002. There is no legal support for a “a statute of limitations” claim that the Commission does not have jurisdiction over a request and denial merely because they were substantially similar to an earlier request and denial. Indeed, “[t]here is nothing in the Connecticut FOIA that bars repeating a request to a public agency.” Id. at 8. It is further concluded that the Commission has jurisdiction over the complaint in this matter, based upon the complaint filed on March 10, 2006, as supplemented by the June 22, 2006 request and the additional letter filed with the Commission on July 3, 2006.     

 

12.  At the hearings, the respondents pointed out that the request for records referred to the “suspension” of Dr. Zamstein, when, in fact, the relevant action taken was a non-renewal of Dr. Zamstein’s clinical privileges. It is concluded that the request set forth at paragraph 2, above, applies to records concerning the non-renewal of Dr. Zamstein’s clinical privileges. See Perkins v. Freedom of Information Commission, 228 Conn. 158 (1993) (“Perkins”) stating that:

 

As a practical matter, the FOIA is used repeatedly by members of the public who are unschooled in technical, legalistic language distinctions. It would be unreasonable to deny a member of the public access to the FOIA simply because of arguable imperfections in the form in which a request for public records is couched.

Id. at 167.

 

13.  The November 2, 2006 hearing primarily concerned whether medical peer review proceedings are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 19a-17b, G.S. In response to an order from the Commission dated November 2, 2006 for production of the requested records for an in camera inspection, the respondent Director submitted forty-two records, which are hereby identified as IC-2006-098-1 through IC-2006-098-42. A cover letter, dated November 13, 2006, accompanied the records, with copies of the letter to all the parties. The cover letter stated that the respondent Director withdrew its argument that peer review proceedings are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 19a-17b, G.S. However, the respondent Director also claimed for the first time that: 1) IC-2006-098-21, 24 and 25 are “a request for legal advice” and the “response thereto”, and are therefore exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-210(b)(10), G.S.; and that 2) IC-2006-098-20, 22, 23 and 33 “pertain to information from the National Practitioner’s Data Bank” and are exempt pursuant to 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 60.   

 

14.  Moreover, by letter dated November 16, 2006, the respondent Dr. Zamstein informed the Commission that, despite the position of the respondent Director, the respondent Dr. Zamstein “does not withdraw his objection to the release of the documentation in violation of the peer review privilege”, and “maintains that the documents are in fact subject to peer review privilege and are not disclosable….”   

 

15.  Based upon a review of the in camera records, it is concluded that the requested records concern “peer review”, as that term is utilized in 19a-17b(a)(2), G.S.      

 

16.  It is found that both the Clinical Affairs Subcommittee and the Credentials Committee were “established pursuant to written bylaws”, and are “engaging in peer review, to gather and review information relating to the care and treatment of patients for the purposes of (A) evaluating and improving the quality of health care rendered….” It is also found that both the Clinical Affairs Subcommittee and the Credentials Committee were “hospital …committee[s] reviewing the professional qualifications or activities of its medical staff….”

 

17.  It is therefore concluded that both the Clinical Affairs Subcommittee and the Credentials Committee are "[m]edical review committee[s]", as that term is utilized in 19a-17b(a)(4), G.S.      

 

18.  However, it is also concluded that, by its very terms, 19a-17b(d), G.S., only limits the “discovery or introduction into evidence in any civil action for or against a health care provider arising out of the matters which are subject to evaluation and review by such committee.…” Commissioner of Health Services v. Kadish, 17 Conn. App. 577 (1989), (holding that 19a-17b(d), G.S., as previously codified, does not apply to an investigation by the commissioner of health services because his investigation is not a “civil action” within the meaning of the statute). Section 19a-17b(d), G.S., does not limit the application of the FOIA. See Chief of Police, Hartford Police Department v. Freedom of Information Commission, 252 Conn. 377 (2000), holding that “whether records are disclosable under the act [the FOIA] are separate from questions of whether the same records are or would be discoverable in litigation.” Id. at 388. Nor does 19a-17b(d), G.S., state that the proceedings of a medical review committee conducting a peer review shall be “confidential”, as stated for a different class of records in 19a-25, G.S.

 

19.  Accordingly, it is concluded that 19a-17b(d), G.S., does not provide for a statutory exemption from the mandatory disclosure required by 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

20.  On the index to the in camera records, the respondent Director claimed the exemption at 1-210(b)(2), G.S., for each in camera record, IC-2006-098-1 through IC-2006-098-42. The Supreme Court set forth the test for “an invasion of personal privacy” in Perkins at 175. The Perkins test has been the standard for disclosure of records pursuant to the 1-210(b)(2), G.S., exemption since 1993.  The Commission takes administrative notice of the multitude of court rulings, Commission final decisions (see Endnotes A) and instances of advice given by Commission staff members (see Endnotes B) which have relied upon the Perkins test, since its release in 1993.

 

21.  Specifically, under the Perkins test, the claimant must first establish that the files in question are personnel, medical or similar files.  Second, the claimant must show that disclosure of the records would constitute an invasion of personal privacy.  In determining whether disclosure would constitute an invasion of personal privacy, the claimant must establish both of two elements: first, that the information sought does not pertain to legitimate matters of public concern, and second, that disclosure of such information is highly offensive to a reasonable person.

 

22.  Based upon a review of the in camera records, it is found that IC-2006-098-1 through 42 are personnel records which concern workplace incidents directly relevant to traditional personnel decisions. See Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission v. Freedom of Information Commission, 233 Conn. 28, 42 (1995). It is also found that IC-2006-098-1 through 42 pertain to a legitimate matter of public concern and are not highly offensive to a reasonable person.

 

23.  Based upon the finding at paragraph 22, above, it is concluded that the in camera records, IC-2006-098-1 through 42, are not exempt as records the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy pursuant to 1-210(b)(2), G.S.

 

24.  On the index to the in camera records, the respondent Director claimed the exemption at 1-210(b)(1), G.S., for IC-2006-098-7. It is found that IC-2006-098-7 is a finalized letter reporting formal action, and is not a preliminary draft or note. It is also found that the respondent Director has not indicated the reasons for his determination that the public interest in withholding the document clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure. Wilson v. Freedom of Information Commission, 181 Conn. 324, 339.         

 

25.  It is therefore concluded that IC-2006-098-7 is not exempt from mandatory disclosure pursuant to the exemption at 1-210(b)(1), G.S.   

 

26.  On the index to the in camera records, the respondent Director claimed the exemption at 1-200(b)(10), G.S., for IC-2006-098-21, 24 and 25, and as stated at paragraph 13, above, indicated that these in camera records were “a request for legal advice” and the “response thereto”.  

 

27.  It is established that Connecticut law defining the attorney-client privilege governs the applicability of the exemption contained in 1-210(b)(10), G.S. Maxwell v. FOI Commission, 260 Conn. 143 (2002).  In Maxwell, the Supreme Court stated that 52-146r, G.S., which established a statutory privilege for communications between public agencies and their attorneys, merely codifies “the common-law attorney-client privilege as this court previously had defined it.” Id. at 149.

 

28.  Section 52-146r(2), G.S., defines “confidential communications” as:

 

all oral and written communications transmitted in confidence between a public official or employee of a public agency acting in the performance of his or her duties or within the scope of his or her employment and a government attorney relating to legal advice sought by the public agency or a public official or employee of such public agency from that attorney, and all records prepared by the government attorney in furtherance of the rendition of such legal advice. . . .

 

29.  The Supreme Court also stated that “both the common-law and statutory privileges protect those communications between a public official or employee and an attorney that are confidential, made in the course of the professional relationship that exists between the attorney and his or her public agency client, and relate to legal advice sought by the agency from the attorney.”  Maxwell, supra at 149.

 

30.  Based upon a review of the in camera records, it is found that IC-2006-098-21, 24 and 25 are, in classic form, requests for “legal advice” and the “rendition of such legal advice”, wherein the respondent Director was endeavoring to address the Zamstein matter in accordance with law. All three records were “in furtherance of the rendition of such legal advice”, and there is no evidence in the record of any waiver of the attorney-client privilege. It is therefore concluded that IC-2006-098-21, 24 and 25 are “communications privileged by the attorney-client relationship” that are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-210(b)(10), G.S.      

 

31.  As stated at paragraph 13, above, the respondent Director indicated that IC-2006-098-20, 22, 23 and 33 “pertain to information from the National Practitioner’s Data Bank” and are exempt from mandatory disclosure pursuant to 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 60. Based upon a review of the in camera records, it is found that IC-2006-098-20, 22, 23 and 33 do “pertain to information from the National Practitioner’s Data Bank”, which was established by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services as required by federal statute.

 

32.  However, 45 Code of Federal Regulations 60.13(a) states:

  

Limitations on disclosure. Information reported to the Data Bank is considered confidential and shall not be disclosed outside the Department of Health and Human Services, except as specified in 60.10, 60.11 and 60.14. Persons and entities which receive information from the Data Bank either directly or from another party must use it solely with respect to the purpose for which it was provided. Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the disclosure of information by a party which is authorized under applicable State law to make such disclosure.  (emphasis added) 

 

 

33.  It is concluded that 45 Code of Federal Regulations 60.13(a) unambiguously provides for state law, such as the Connecticut FOIA, to authorize a party, such as the respondent Director, to disclose information reported to the Data Bank. It is therefore concluded that IC-2006-098-20, 22, 23 and 33 are not “reports and statements exempted by federal law”, and are therefore not exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-210(a) and 1-210(b)(10), G.S.      

   

34.  It is finally concluded that, except for IC-2006-098-21, 24, and 25, the requested records are not exempt from mandatory disclosure pursuant to any provision of law. The respondent Director violated the requirements of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., when he declined to provide the complainant with copies of the requested records (other than the minutes provided, as discussed at paragraph 9, above), except, however, that the respondent Director did not violate 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., when he declined to provide IC-2006-098-21, 24, and 25.      

 

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

 

  1. The respondent Director shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of the requested records, except for IC-2006-098-21, 24, and 25 and the minutes discussed at paragraph 10, above. The records shall be provided free of charge.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of February 28, 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:

 

Louis J. Russo

21 Wynwood Drive

Enfield, CT 06082

 

Director, State of Connecticut,

University of Connecticut Health Center,

Office of Health Affairs Policy Planning

c/o Jane D. Comerford, Esq.

Assistant Attorney General

UCONN Health Center

263 Farmington Avenue

Room LM043

Farmington, CT 06030-3803

 

Dr. Jacob Zamstein

c/o Robert F. Kappes, Esq.

Silvester & Daly

118 Oak Street

Hartford, CT 06106

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

FIC/2006-098FD/paj/3/1/2007

                       

 

                                               

                                                                       

 

 

 

 

 

ENDNOTES

 

A. Court cases

 

Payne v. City of Danbury, 267 Conn. 669 (2004); Director, Retirement & Benefits Services Div. v. FOIC, 256 Conn. 764 (2001); Rocque v. FOIC, 255 Conn. 651 (2001); Dept. of Public Safety v FOIC, 242 Conn. 79 (1997) Conn. Alcohol & Drug Abuse Commission v. FOIC, 233 Conn.28 (1995) Kurecza v. FOIC, 228 Conn. 271 (1994); First Selectman v. FOIC, 60 Conn. App. 64 (2000); Dept. of Children & Families v. FOIC, 48 Conn. App. 467 (1998); Almeida v. FOIC, 39 Conn. App. 154 (1995); Dept. of Transportation v. FOIC, Super Ct JD NB CV 01-0508810 (Schuman, J. 2001); City Treasurer, City of Hartford v. FOIC, Super Ct JD NB CV 99 0496222 (Cohn, J. 2000); Rocque, Commissioner of Environmental Protection v. FOIC, Super Ct JD NB CV 98 0492734 (Hartmere, J. 1999); Director, Retirement & Benefits Services Div. v. FOIC, Super Ct JD NB CV 98 0492692 (Hartmere, J. 1999); First Selectman, Town of Ridgefield v. FOIC, Super Ct JD NB CV 99‑0493041 (McWeeny, J. 1999); Chairman, Bd. of Education Town of Darien v. FOIC, Super Ct JD Htfd NB CV 97 0575674 (McWeeny, J. 1998); Waters, Commissioner of State of Conn. Dept. of Administrative Services v. FOIC, Super Ct JD Htfd/NB CV 96 0565853 (McWeeny, J. 1997); Armstrong, Commissioner of State of Conn. Dept. Of Correction v. FOIC, Super Ct JD Htfd/NB CV 96 0563608 (McWeeny, J. 1997); Dept. of Children & Families v. FOIC, Super Ct JD Htfd NB CV 96 0562546 (McWeeny, J. 1997); State of Conn. Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities v. FOIC, Super Ct JD Htfd/NB CV 95 0554467 (McWeeny, J. 1997); Youngquist v. FOIC, Super Ct JD Htfd/NB, CV 95 0554601 (McWeeny, J. 1996 and 1997); Cracco v. FOIC, Super Ct JD Htfd/NB, CV 94 0705371 (Dunnell, J. 1995); Cracco v. FOIC, Super Ct JD Htfd NB, CV 93 0705370, (Dunnell, J. 1995); Cracco v. FOIC, Super Ct JD Htfd NB, CV 94 0705369, (Dunnell, J. 1995); Simonds v. FOIC, Super Ct JD Htfd/NB, CV 93 070 41 39 (Maloney, J. 1994); Gallagher v. FOIC, Super Ct JD Htfd/NB, CV 93 0531514 (Maloney, J. 1994).

 

 

B. FOIC Decisions

 

Docket #FIC 2003-285; Frank C. Violissi, Jr. v. First Selectman, Town of Chester (May 26, 2004); Docket #FIC 2003-074; Heather M. Henderson v. State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety, Legal Affairs Department (Dec. 10, 2003); Docket #FIC 2003-020; Hugh Curran v. Mayor, City of Waterbury (Sept. 10, 2003); Docket #FIC 2002-580; Ken Byron and The Hartford Courant v. First Selectman, Town of Westbrook (Sept. 10, 2003); Docket #FIC 2003-038 Chris Dehnel and The Journal Inquirer v.  First Selectman, Town of Ellington (Aug. 27, 2003); Docket #FIC 2002-531Chris Dehnel and Journal Inquirer First Selectman, Town of Ellington (Aug. 27, 2003); Docket #FIC 2003-055; Robert Mack v. Director, State of Connecticut, Department of Correction, Labor Relations (July 23, 2003); Docket #FIC 2002-345; Josh Kovner, Chris Keating, and The Hartford Courant v. Chief, Police Department, City of Middletown (July 23, 2003); Docket #FIC 2002-338; Amy L. Zitka and The Middletown Press v. Chief, Police Department, City of Middletown; and Professional Standards Unit Supervisor, Police Department, City of Middletown (July 23, 2003); Docket #FIC 2002-465; Fred Radford v. Chairman, Police Commission, Town of Trumbull; and Chief, Police Department, Town of Trumbull (July 9, 2003); Docket #FIC 2002-118; Kimberly W. Moy and the Hartford Courant v. Superintendent of Schools, Southington Public Schools (Feb. 26, 2003); Docket #FIC 2002-020; Maurice Timothy Reidy and The Hartford Courant v. Chief, Police Department, Town of Newington and Brendan Fitzgerald (Oct. 23, 2002); Docket #FIC 2001-489 Jonathan Kellogg, Trip Jennings and Waterbury Republican-American Chief, Police Department, Borough of Naugatuck and Rick Smolicz (Sept. 25, 2002); Docket #FIC 2002-173; Carrie J. Campion v. Director, Department of Human Resources, Town of Fairfield (Aug. 28, 2002); Docket #FIC 2001-425 Joseph Mincewicz, Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety, Division of State Police; and State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety, Division of State Police (Aug. 28, 2002); Docket #FIC 2001-421 Jean M. Morningstar and University Health Professionals Local 3837, AFT-CFEPE, AFL-CIO v. Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, State of Connecticut, University of Connecticut Health Center; and State of Connecticut, University of Connecticut Health Center; and Justin Radolf, M.D., Director, Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, School of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center (Aug. 28, 2002); Docket #FIC 2002-093 Sean P. Turpin v. Director, Department of Human Resources, Town of Greenwich and Steve Demetri (July 24, 2002); Docket #FIC 2002-034; MariAn Gail Brown, Michael P. Mayko and Connecticut Post Michael Lupkas, Comptroller, City of Bridgeport; Christopher Duby, Chief of Staff, City of Bridgeport; Mark Anastasi, City Attorney, City of Bridgeport; and Gregory Conte, Deputy Chief of Staff, City of Bridgeport (June 26, 2002); Docket #FIC 2001-364; Karen Guzman and The Hartford Courant v. City of New Britain Docket (June 26, 2002); Docket #FIC 2001-180 James H. Smith and The Record Journal Publishing Company v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety, Division of State Police; and State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety, Division of State Police (Feb. 13, 2002); Docket #FIC 2001-129; Kimberly W. Moy and The Hartford Courant v. Police Commission, Town of Southington (Feb. 13, 2002); Docket #FIC 2001-251 Fred Radford v. Chief, Police Department, Town of Trumbull (Jan. 23, 2002); Docket #FIC 2000-624; Eric Gustavson v. Board of Education, Brookfield Public Schools (June 13, 2001); Docket #FIC 2000-557; Wendy John v. Richard Blumenthal, Attorney General, State of Connecticut, Office of the Attorney General; Wil Gundling, William McCullough, Phillip Schulz, Margaret Chapple, Assistant Attorneys General, State of Connecticut, Office of the Attorney General; and State of Connecticut, Office of the Attorney General (June 13, 2001); Docket #FIC 2000-268; Michael Costanza and The Day v. Director of Utilities, Utilities Department, City of Groton; and Mayor, City of Groton (April 25, 2001); Docket #FIC 2000-198; William J. Stone v. Personnel Administrator, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Finance and Administration; and State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation (April 20, 2001); Docket #FIC 2000-537; James Leonard, Jr. v. Chief, Police Department, City of New Britain (March 28, 2001); Docket #FIC 2000-348; Bradshaw Smith v. Office of the Vice Chancellor for Information Services, State of Connecticut, University of Connecticut; and State of Connecticut, University of Connecticut (February 28, 2001); Docket #FIC 2000-474; Robert H. Boone and Journal Inquirer v. Chief, Police Department, Town of Windsor Locks (Jan. 24, 2001); Docket #FIC 2000-265; Lisa Goldberg and The Hartford Courant v. Superintendent of Schools, Vernon Public Schools (Jan. 24, 2001); Docket #FIC 2000-569; Mary Hyde v. Chief, Police Department, Town of Seymour (Dec. 13, 2000); Docket #FIC 2000-049; Nicholas B. Wynnick v. Board of Directors, Ansonia Public Library, Town of Ansonia (Dec. 13, 2000); Docket #FIC 2000-136; Thomas E. Lee v. Board of Education, Trumbull Public Schools; and Superintendent of Schools, Trumbull Public Schools (Nov. 29, 2000); Docket #FIC 2000-135; Thomas E. Lee v. Board of Education, Trumbull Public Schools; and Superintendent of Schools, Trumbull Public Schools (Nov. 29, 2000); Docket #FIC2000-086; Mitchell D. Poudrier v. Superintendent of Schools, Killingly Public Schools (Sept. 13, 2000); Docket #FIC 2000-173; Robert H. Boone and the Journal Inquirer v. Anthony Milano, District Manager, Metropolitan District Commission; and Metropolitan District Commission (Aug. 23, 2000); Docket #FIC 2000-094; James D. Goodwin v. Communications Specialist, State of Connecticut, Department of Social Services, Public and Government Relations Unit (Aug. 9, 2000); Docket #FIC 2000-022; Thedress Campbell v. City Treasurer, City of Hartford (Aug. 9, 2000); Docket #FIC 2000-137; Robert H. Boone and Journal Inquirer v. Metropolitan District Commission (July 12, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-560; Leo F. Smith v. Robert H. Skinner, First Selectman, Town of Suffield; and Selectmen’s Office, Town of Suffield (July 12, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-556; Delores Annicelli v. Director, New Haven Housing Authority, City of New Haven; and New Haven Housing Authority, City of New Haven (July 12, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-548; Leo F. Smith v. John P. Lange, Human Resources Director, Town of Suffield; and Department of Human Resources, Town of Suffield (July 12, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-547; Leo F. Smith v. John P. Lange, Human Resources Director, Town of Suffield; and Department of Human Resources, Town of Suffield (July 12, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-525; Leo F. Smith v. John P. Lange, Human Resources Director, Town of Suffield; and Department of Human Resources, Town of Suffield (July 12, 2000); Docket #FIC 2000-118; Elizabeth Ganga and Connecticut Post v. Police Department, Town of Stratford (June 28, 2000); Docket #FIC 2000-095; Ron Robillard and the Chronicle v. Chairman, Board of Education, Eastford Public Schools; and Board of Education, Eastford Public Schools (June 28, 2000); Docket #FIC 2000-093; Megan J. Bard and The Norwich Bulletin v. Chairman, Board of Education, Eastford Public Schools; and Board of Education, Eastford Public Schools (June 28, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-575; Bruce Kaz v. Robert Skinner, First Selectman, Town of Suffield; and Ted Flanders, Building Inspector, Town of Suffield (June 28, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-519; Robert J. Fortier v. Personnel Director, Town of East Hartford; and Mayor, Town of East Hartford (June 14, 2000); Docket #FIC1999-550; James and Susanne Milewski v. Deputy Chief, Police Department, Town of Clinton; and Police Department, Town of Clinton (May 24, 2000); Docket #FIC 2000-005; Fred B. Feins v. President and Chief Executive Officer, Granby Ambulance Association, Inc., Town of Granby (May 10, 2000); Docket #FIC1999-606; Robert L. Corraro and IBEW Local 90 v. Town Attorney, Town of Hamden; and Electrical Contractors, Inc. (May 10, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-533; Donald J. Lanouette, Jr. v. Chief, Police Department, Town of Madison; and Police Department, Town of Madison (April 26, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-502; Christopher Hoffman and New Haven Register v. Director of Personnel, State of Connecticut, Southern Connecticut State University; and Personnel Office, State of Connecticut, Southern Connecticut State University (April 26, 2000); Docket #FIC1999-440; Anne Hamilton and The Hartford Courant James Martino, Chief, Police Department, Town of Avon; Peter A. Agnesi, Lieutenant, Police Department, Town of Avon; and Police Department, Town of Avon (March 8, 2000); Docket #FIC1999-333; Lynn Fredricksen and New Haven Register v. Chief, Police Department, Town of Madison; and Police Department, Town of Madison (March 8, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-289; Thomas Moran v. Director, Human Resources, Town of Simsbury; and Department of Human Resources, Town of Simsbury (Feb. 9, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-328; Victor Zigmund v. Director, State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Human Resources Operations, Connecticut Valley Hospital, Whiting Forensic Division (Jan. 26, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-100; Janice D’Arcy and The Hartford Courant v. Chief, Police Department, Town of Cheshire; Police Department, Town of Cheshire; Town Manager, Town of Cheshire; and Town of Cheshire (Jan. 26, 2000); Docket #FIC 1999-355; Wayne Mercier v. Patricia C. Washington, Director of Personnel, City of Hartford; and Department of Personnel, City of Hartford (Nov. 10, 1999); Docket #FIC 1998-391; Jonathan F. Kellogg and The Republican American v. Department of Education, City of Waterbury (Oct. 13, 1999); Docket #FIC 1999-161; Michael W. Cahill v. Chief, Police Department, Town of Hamden; and Police Department, Town of Hamden (Sept. 22, 1999); Docket #FIC 1998-294; Robert J. Bourne v. Department of Public Utilities, City of Norwich, and City of Norwich (Sept. 22, 1999); Docket #FIC 1998-293; Joseph J. Cassidy v. Department of Public Utilities, City of Norwich, and City of Norwich (Sept. 22, 1999); Docket #FIC 1999-040; Judith F. Machuga and State of Connecticut, Division of Public Defender Services, Superior Court, G.A. 13 v. Chief, Police Department, Town of East Windsor; and Police Department, Town of East Windsor (Aug. 25, 1999); Docket #FIC 1999-144; Robert H. Boone and Journal Inquirer v. William Gifford, Chief, Police Department, Town of Windsor Locks; Police Department, Town of Windsor Locks; and Windsor Locks Police Commission (July 28, 1999); Docket #FIC 1999-096; Paul Marks and The Hartford Courant v. Chief, Police Department, Town of Windsor Locks; and Police Department, Town of Windsor Locks (July 28, 1999); Docket #FIC 1999-064; Joan Coe v. First Selectman, Town of Simsbury; Director, Human Resources Department, Town of Simsbury; and Town of Simsbury (July 28, 1999); Docket #FIC 1999-150; Andrew Nargi v. Office of Corporation Counsel, City of Torrington; and City of Torrington (July 14, 1999); Docket #FIC 1999-135; Warren Woodberry, Jr. and The Hartford Courant v. Acting Town Manager, Town of Rocky Hill and Town of Rocky Hill (July 14, 1999); Docket #FIC 1999-015; Richard Manuel Rivera v. Superintendent of Schools, Torrington Public Schools; and Board of Education, Torrington Public Schools (June 9, 1999); Docket #FIC 1998-372; William C. Kaempffer and New Haven Register v. Police Department, City of New Haven; City of New Haven; and James Sorrentino (June 9, 1999); Docket #FIC 1997-361; Dominick L. Santarsiero v. Director, Human Resources, City of Stamford (June 10, 1998); Docket #FIC 1999-019; David K. Jaffe v. State of Connecticut, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, Human Resources; State of Connecticut, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, Security Division; and State of Connecticut, Connecticut Lottery Corporation (April 28, 1999); Docket #FIC1998-325; Virginia Groark and The Day v. Freedom of Information Officer, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health, Office of Special Services, Communications Division; and Agency Personnel Administrator, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health, Human Resources Division (April 28, 1999); Docket #FIC 1998-208; Thedress Campbell v. City Treasurer, City of Hartford; and City of Hartford (April 14, 1999); Docket #FIC 1998-265; Benjamin M. Wenograd and Service Employees International Union Local 760 v. John Roughan, Executive Director, East Hartford Housing Authority; and East Hartford Housing Authority, Town of East Hartford (March 24, 1999); Docket #FIC 1997-363; Diana R. Raczkowski v. Mayor, Town of Naugatuck (March 11, 1998); Docket #FIC 1997-307; Krystin Bratina v. Chief, Hartford Fire Department, City of Hartford (March 11, 1998); Docket #FIC 1998-288; Christian Miller and the New Haven Register v. Superintendent, Branford Public Schools; and Board of Education, Branford Public Schools (Feb. 24, 1999); Docket #FIC 1998-255; Joan O’Rourke v. Chief, Police Department, City of Torrington; and Police Department, City of Torrington (Jan. 27, 1999); Docket #FIC 1998-251; John Ward v. Beverly L. Durante, Personnel Administrator, Housatonic Area Regional Transit; and Housatonic Area Regional Transit (Jan. 27, 1999); Docket #FIC 1998-163; Lawrence A. Butts v. Director, State of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection, Human Resources Division; and State of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection, Human Resources Division (Dec. 9, 1998); Docket #FIC 1998-162; Lawrence A. Butts Chairperson, State of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection, Human Resources Division; and State of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection, Human Resources Division (Dec. 9, 1998); Docket #FIC 1998-232; Scott Clark, Amy Kertesz, Michael Gates and the Ridgefield Police Union v. First Selectman, Town of Ridgefield; and Town of Ridgefield (Nov. 18, 1998); Docket #FIC 1998-193; Daniel P. Jones and The Hartford Courant v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection; and State of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection (Nov. 18, 1998); Docket #FIC 1998-121; Ernie Cantwell and International Association of Firefighters, Local No. 1073 v. Director, Personnel Department, City of Middletown and Personnel Department, City of Middletown (Oct. 14, 1998); Docket #FIC 1998-120; Ernie Cantwell and International Association of Firefighters, Local No. 1073 v. Director, Personnel Department, City of Middletown (Oct. 14, 1998); Docket #FIC 1998‑094; Janice D'Arcy and The Hartford Courant v. Chief, Meriden Police Department, City of Meriden and Meriden Police Department (Oct. 14, 1998); Docket #FIC 1997-422; Joseph A. Johnson, Jr. and Greenwich Time v. Chief, Greenwich Police Department, Town of Greenwich; and Greenwich Police Department, Town of Greenwich (Sept. 9, 1998); Docket #FIC 1998-023; Deborah Maynard v. Superintendent, Voluntown School District; and Principal, Voluntown Elementary School, Voluntown School District (Aug. 12, 1998); Docket #FIC 1997-298; Allan Drury and The New Haven Register v. Chief, East Haven Police Department, Town of East Haven; and Town of East Haven (June 10, 1998); Jonathan Lucas and Greenwich Times v. Director, Department of Human Resources, Town of Greenwich; and Town of Greenwich (May 27, 1998); John C. Rettman v. Meriden Police Department, Internal Affairs Division; and Paul Rowen (May 13, 1998); Docket #FIC 1997-318; Dennis Carnot v. Chief, Meriden Police Department, City of Meriden; Internal Affairs Division, Meriden Police Department, City of Meriden; Meriden Police Department, City of Meriden; and Paul Rowen (May 13, 1998); Docket #FIC 1997-175; Matthew Brown, Ken Byron and The Hartford Courant v. Superintendent of Schools, Plymouth Public Schools; and Board of Education, Town of Plymouth (February 18, 1998); Docket #FIC 1997-123; John Christoffersen and The Advocate v. Superintendent of Schools, Stamford Public Schools and Director of Personnel, Stamford Public Schools (Feb. 11, 1998); Docket #FIC 1997-088; John B. Harkins v. Acting Town Manager, Town of Tolland (Jan. 28, 1998); Docket #FIC 1997-085; Joe Johnson and Greenwich Time v. Chief of Police, Greenwich Police Department (Jan. 28, 1998); Docket #FIC 1997-142; Laura Amon v. Program Manager, Affirmative Action Division, State of Connecticut, Department of Transportation (Dec. 3, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-572; Ken Byron and The Hartford Courant v. Chief of Police, Town of Wethersfield (Nov. 12, 1997); Docket #FIC 1997-238; Kimberley A. Thomsen and the Republican-American v. Acting Superintendent, Waterbury Police Department (Oct. 29, 1997); Docket #FIC 1997-089; Steven Edelman v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Retardation; and State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Retardation (Oct. 22, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-551; Judith A. Amato v. Executive Director, New Britain Housing Authority; and New Britain Housing Authority (Aug. 27, 1997); Docket # FIC 1996-539; Ann Marie Derwin v. Legal Advisor, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety; and State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety (Aug. 27, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-592; Francine Karp v. Mayor, City of Bristol; Director of Personnel, City of Bristol; and Dennis Daigneault (July 23, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-243; Joanne C. Tashjian v. Personnel Officer, State of Connecticut, Workers’ Compensation Commission; and State of Connecticut, Workers’ Compensation Commission (June 4, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-322;Carolyn Moreau and The Hartford Courant v. Chief of Police, Southington Police Department; and Susan Williams (May 28, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-465; John Gauger, Jr., Joseph Cadrain and Richard Westervelt v. Kenneth H. Kirschner, Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety; Dawn Carnese, Legal Advisor, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety; and Lt. David Werner, Commanding Officer, Troop "B", State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety, Division of State Police (April 9, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-315; David W. Cummings v. Christopher Burnham, Treasurer, State of Connecticut (April 9, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-521; Carol Butterworth v. Town Council, Town of Tolland (March 26, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-421; John B. Harkins v. Chairman, Tolland Town Council (March 26, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-314; David W. Cummings v. Christopher Burnham, Treasurer, State of Connecticut (April 9, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-119; David W. Cummings v. Jesse M. Frankl, Chairman, State of Connecticut, Workers’ Compensation Commission (March 26, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-215; Alice M. Gray v. Chief of Police, Manchester Police Department, and Assistant Town Attorney, Town of Manchester (Feb. 26, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-159; Carolyn Moreau and The Hartford Courant v. Police Chief, Southington Police Department (Jan. 22, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-124; Donald H. Schiller, Michael Kelley and The Record-Journal Publishing Company v. Police Chief, Town of Southington Police Department, and Town of Southington Police Department (Jan. 22, 1997); Docket #FIC 1996-134; Betty Halibozek v. Superintendent of Schools, Middletown Public Schools; and Supervisor of Maintenance and Transportation, Board of Education, City of Middletown (Dec. 11, 1996); Docket #FIC1996-006; Joseph Cadrain and Richard Westervelt v. Gerald Gore, Legal Affairs Unit, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety; and State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety, Division of State Police (Dec. 11, 1996); Docket #FIC 1996-153; Tracey Thomas and The Hartford Courant v. Legal Affairs Unit, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety (Nov. 20, 1996); Docket #FIC1995-419; Robie Irizarry v. Warden, Willard Correctional Institution, State of Connecticut, Department of Correction (Oct. 23, 1996); Docket #FIC 1995-368; Thomas Lally v. Executive Director, State of Connecticut Board of Education and Services for the Blind, and Special Projects Coordinator, State of Connecticut, Board of Education and Services for the Blind (Oct. 9, 1996); Docket #FIC 1995-403; Jesse C. Leavenworth and The Hartford Courant v. Superintendent of Schools, Regional School District #7 (Sept. 25, 1996); Docket #FIC 1995-361; Christopher Hoffman and the New Haven Register v. James J. McGrath, Chief of Police, Ansonia Police Department and Eugene K. Baron, Brian Phipps, and Howard Tinney as members of the Ansonia Board of Police Commissioners (Sept. 25, 1996); Docket #FIC1995-358; Lyn Bixby and The Hartford Courant v. State of Connecticut, Department of Administrative Services (Sept. 25, 1996); Docket #FIC 1996-056; Francine Cimino v. Chief of Police, Glastonbury Police Department; Town Manager, Town of Glastonbury; and Town of Glastonbury (Sept. 25, 1996); Docket #FIC 1995-343; John J. Woodcock, III v. Town Manager, Town of South Windsor (July 24, 1996); Docket #FIC 1995-324; John J. Woodcock, III and Kathryn A. Hale v. Dana Whitman, Jr., Acting Town Manager, Town of South Windsor (July 24, 1996); Docket #FIC 95-251; Lyn Bixby & The Hartford Courant v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Correction (July 10, 1996); Docket #FIC 1995-252; Valerie Finholm and The Hartford Courant v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Children and Families (May 22, 1996); Docket #FIC 1995-193; Terence P. Sexton v. Chief of Police, Hartford Police Department (May 8, 1996); Docket #FIC 1995-125; Chris Powell and Journal Inquirer v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Social Services (March 13, 1996); Docket #FIC 1995-081; Bruce Bellm, Kendres Lally, Philip Cater, Peter Hughes, Carol Northrop, Brad Pellissier, Todd Higgins and Bruce Garrison v. State of Connecticut, Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, Sharon Story and Marlene Fein (March 13, 1996); Docket #FIC 1995-074; Jeffrey C. Cole and WFSB/TV 3 v. James Strillacci, Chief of Police, West Hartford Police Department (Jan. 24, 1996); Docket #FIC 1995-026; Curtis R. Wood v. Director of Affirmative Action, State of Connecticut, Department of Correction (Jan. 24, 1996); Docket #FIC 1995-132; Michael A. Ingrassia v. Warden, Walker Special Management Unit, State of Connecticut Department of Correction (Dec. 27, 1995); Docket #FIC 1995-048; Jane Holfelder v. Canton Police Department (June 14, 1995); Docket #FIC 1994-351; Edward A. Peruta v. O. Paul Shew, Rocky Hill Town Manager and Director of Public Safety; Donald Unwin, Mayor of Rocky Hill, William Pacelia, Deputy Mayor of Rocky Hill; and Curt Roggi, Rocky Hill Town Attorney (May 28, 1995); Docket #FIC 1994-160; John Springer and The Bristol Press v. Chief of Police, Bristol Police Department (April 5, 1995); Docket #FIC 1994-077; Kathryn Kranhold and The Hartford Courant v. Director, New Haven Health Department (Feb. 8, 1995); Docket #FIC 1994-099; Frank Faraci, Jr. v. Middletown Police Department, Mayor of Middletown, and Middletown City Attorney (Feb. 2, 1995); Docket #FIC 1994-011; Robert Grabar, Edward Frede and The News-Times v. Superintendent of Schools, Brookfield Public Schools and Brookfield Board of Education (Aug. 24, 1994); Docket #FIC 1993-279; Jay Lewin v. New Milford Director of Finance (March 23, 1994).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C. Affidavit of Eric Turner, January 9, 2002.

 

AFFIDAVIT OF ERIC V. TURNER

 

Eric V. Turner, having been duly sworn, does hereby depose as follows:

 

1.  I am over the age of eighteen (18) years and understand the obligation of an affirmation.

 

2.  I am a member of the Connecticut Bar and am currently employed as Director of Public Education for the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, having first been employed by said commission in 1996.

 

3.  I am providing this affidavit in light of the Supreme Court decision in Director, Retirement & Benefits Services Division v. Freedom of Information Commission, 256 Conn. 764 (2001), in which the court apparently invites a reconsideration of Perkins v. Freedom of Information Commission, 228 Conn. 158 (1993).  See, Director, supra at 782, fn 13, 785 (Zarella, J. concurring).

 

4.  As part of my responsibilities as Director of Public Education for said commission, I have developed, organized and scheduled speaking engagements, seminars and programs explaining the duties and rights established under the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act.

 

5.  Since I assumed my current position in 1996, there have been approximately 290 such speaking engagements, seminars and programs in Connecticut and I have personally lectured in approximately 80 such speaking engagements, seminars and programs.

 

6.  As part of the presentation I have prepared for such speaking engagements, seminars and programs, the subject of the Connecticut General Statues Section 1-210(b)(2) exemption for personnel, medical and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy is stressed because of the great interest in that exemption and the confusion generated by a series of inconsistent and contradictory court decisions prior to Perkins, supra.  See, e.g., Chairman v. Freedom of Information Commission, 217 Conn. 193 (1991) (establishing “reasonable expectation of privacy” test; query whether subjectively or objectively applied) and Board of Education v. Freedom of Information Commission, 210 Conn. 590 (1989) (confirming a “balancing” test), which was overruled by the Chairman case.

 

7.  Since the Supreme Court ruling in Perkins, supra, all Freedom of Information Commission staff members who conduct such speaking engagements, seminars and programs discuss in detail the rulings in that case and its progeny.

 

8.  As part of my responsibilities as Director of Public Education, I also answer telephone and other inquiries from public officials and the public.  Since my employment with said commission, I have answered thousands of such inquiries, including hundreds of inquiries concerning the Connecticut General Statutes Section 1-210(b)(2) exemption.  In responding to such inquiries I discuss in detail the Perkins case and its progeny.

 

9.  Based on the foregoing experiences, it is my opinion that the Perkins decision, and its progeny, have had a beneficial effect on public officials and the public itself because they can rely on a now long-standing and clear test with respect to the Connecticut General Statutes Section 1-210(b)(2) exemption, which helps them determine whether that exemption is applicable to the practical problems they encounter with respect to personnel, medical and similar information.  Indeed, the many court and Freedom of Information Commission decisions applying the Perkins test have given public officials and the public a now consistent body of law concerning that statutory exemption.

 

 

Eric V. Turner

 

  

 

COUNTY OF HARTFORD

                                                            ss:  Hartford

STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

Subscribed and attested to before me this 9th day of January, 2002.

 

 

 

Mitchell W. Pearlman

Commissioner of the Superior Court