FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Frank A. Loda,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2007-116

Robert J. Koskelowski, First

Selectman, Town of Seymour;

and Board of Selectmen, Town

of Seymour,

 
  Respondents August 22, 2007
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 19, 2007, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  This matter was consolidated for hearing with Docket #FIC 2007-030, Frank A. Loda v. Robert J. Koskelowski, First Selectman, Town of Seymour.

 

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

1.      The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  It is found that, by letter dated January 3, 2007, the complainant requested a copy of the audiotapes of the January 2, 2007 board of selectmen meeting.

 

            3.  It is found that, by letter dated January 3, 2007, the respondent first selectman informed the complainant that his request had been received and that the tapes would be ready by January 8, 2007.  Such letter also stated that “[y]ou will be notified when these tapes are finished.”

 

            4.  It is found that the complainant received the tapes, described in paragraph 2, above, on January 31, 2007, when he went to the respondents’ offices to pick them up.

 

5.  By letter dated February 2, 2007 and filed February 5, 2007, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to promptly provide him with the tapes, described in paragraph 2, above. 

 

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

 

[e]xcept 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 … receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.

 

7.  Section 1-212(a), 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.”

 

8.  It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 1-210(a), G.S.

 

            9.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainant testified that he believed the respondents purposely withheld the requested tapes from him in order to thwart the complainant’s prosecution of Docket #FIC 2007-030.  

 

10.  However, it is found that the tapes were ready and available to be picked up on January 8, 2007.  It is found that the respondents did not notify the complainant on January 8, 2007, that the tapes were ready, but it is also found that, at the January 16, 2007 board of selectmen meeting, an assistant to the respondent first selectman informed the complainant that the tapes were ready to be picked up, and had been ready since January 8, 2007. 

 

11.  It is found that the complainant did not call the respondents’ offices on January 8, 2007, or thereafter, to inquire as to the status of his request.  Rather, it is found that the complainant waited until January 31, 2007 to go to the respondents’ offices to pick up the tapes.

               

12.  It is concluded that, under the facts and circumstances of this case, the respondents promptly provided the complainant with a copy of the requested records, and that therefore, the respondents did not violate 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.      The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 22, 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:

 

Frank A. Loda

27 Osprey Drive

Seymour, CT 06483

 

Robert J. Koskelowski, First

Selectman, Town of Seymour;

and Board of Selectmen, Town

of Seymour

c/o George R. Temple, Esq.

241 Coram Avenue

Shelton, CT 06484-4700

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2007-116FD/paj/8/29/2007