FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

Al Lotto,

 
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2007-036

Assistant Superintendent

of Schools, Hamden

Public Schools,

 
  Respondent  June 27, 2007
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 16, 2007, 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 public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  It is found that, by e-mail dated January 3, 2007, to the respondent, the complainant wrote the following: “Under the state policy and the FOI Act please send any verified acts of bullying since my last request.  Thank you.  Al Lotto”

 

3.  By e-mail dated January 12, 2007, and filed on January 16, 2007, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act by not complying with the request described in paragraph 2, above. 

 

4.  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.

 

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 … 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)(1), G.S., provides in relevant part that “[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.”

 

7.  Section 10-222d, G.S., provides in relevant part that:

 

[e]ach local … board of education shall develop a policy … to address the existence of bullying in its schools.  Such policy shall … require each school to maintain a list of the number of verified acts of bullying in such school and make such list available for public inspection…. 

 

8.  It is found that, on March 23, 2006, the respondent provided the complainant with a list of verified acts of bullying for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years, along with other records, which the complainant had apparently requested at such time.  There is no evidence in the record of what the complainant specifically requested in 2006. 

 

9.  It is found that the respondent provided the complainant with the list of verified acts of bullying for calendar year 2006-2007 on April 19, 2007.  At the hearing in this matter, the respondent stipulated, and it is therefore found, that the provision of such records was not prompt.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondent violated the promptness provisions of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., in this matter. 

 

10.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainant contended that, in addition to verified acts of bullying, he also sought “records of suspected bullying.”  However, based on the facts and circumstances of this case, it is found that “records of suspected bullying” are separate documents not fairly within the scope of the request described in paragraph 2, above.  

 

11.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act when he failed to provide copies of “records of suspected bullying” to the complainant.  The Commission notes that the complainant is free to request that the respondent provide him with copies of “records of suspected bullying.” 

On the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint, no order by the Commission is hereby recommended.

 

 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 27, 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:

 

Al Lotto

3 Earl Avenue Ext.

Hamden, CT 06514

 

Assistant Superintendent

of Schools, Hamden

Public Schools

c/o Gary R. Brochu, Esq.

Shipman & Goodwin LLP

One Constitution Plaza

Hartford, CT 06103-1919

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2007-036FD/paj/6/29/2007