FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Mark Waxenberg,  
  Complainant  
  against    Docket #FIC 2006-651

Director, Elementary School,

Elm City College

Preparatory Academy,

 
  Respondent May 23, 2007
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 26, 2007, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  For purposes of hearing, the above-captioned matter was consolidated with docket #FIC 2006-641, Mark Waxenberg v. Director, Middle School, Elm City College Preparatory Academy

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

 

1.  The respondent is public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  It is found that, by letter dated November 9, 2006, the complainant requested that the respondent provide him with copies of following records: “Board of Directors Agendas and Minutes of such meetings for the 2005-2006 school year and 2006-2007 school year.” 

 

3.  It is found that the respondent did not respond to the complainant’s request for records in November, 2006. 

 

4.  By letter of complaint dated November 30, 2006, and filed December 7, 2006, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act by not complying with his request for records.

 

5.  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.

 

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

 

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 . . .  (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.

 

7.  Section 1-212(a)(1), 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.

 

            8.  It is found that the respondent maintains the records described in paragraph 2, above, and it is therefore concluded that such records are “public records” and must be disclosed in accordance with 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., unless they are exempt from disclosure.

 

            9.  It is further found that, under cover letter dated April 25, 2007, the respondent stated that he was providing the complainant “with the agenda and meeting minutes . . . during the requested time period, as is fitting.”

 

            10.  It is further found that the respondent provided no explanation for the delay between the complainant’s November 9, 2006 request and the provision of records to the complainant on April 25, 2007, the day before the hearing in this matter.

 

11.  It is further found that the respondent was unable to provide any evidence with regard to the thoroughness of his search for or provision of records to the complainant. 

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

1.  The respondent shall forthwith make a thorough search for the requested agendas and minutes, as described in paragraph 2, above.  Upon completion of his search, the respondent shall provide at no cost a list to the complainant of the dates upon which the Board of Directors met during the 2005 to 2006 and 2006 to 2007 school years.

2. In the event the respondent locates records described in paragraph 2, above, that have not been provided to the complainant, he shall forthwith provide the complainant with copies of such records, at no cost.

3.  Henceforth, the respondent shall strictly comply with the promptness requirements of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

4.      The respondent is advised that pursuant to 1-206(b)(2), G.S., “upon a

finding that a denial of any right created by the Freedom of Information Act was without reasonable grounds and after the custodian or other official directly responsible for the denial has been given an opportunity to be heard at a hearing . . . , the commission may, in its discretion, impose against the custodian or other official a civil penalty” of up to one thousand dollars. 

 


Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 23, 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:

 

Mark Waxenberg

c/o Ronald Cordilico, Esq.

Capitol Place, Suite 500

21 Oak Street

Hartford, CT 06106

 

Director, Elementary School,

Elm City College

Preparatory Academy

c/o Ellie Appellof

Development Associate

403 James Street

New Haven, CT 06513

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

FIC/2006-651FD/paj/5/31/2007