FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Halina Trelski,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2007-119

Board of Education,

Middletown Public Schools,

 
  Respondent September 12, 2007
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 30, 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, this matter was consolidated with Docket #FIC 2007-097, Halina Trelski v. Board of Education, Middletown Public Schools; Docket #FIC 2007-098, Halina Trelski v. Board of Education, Middletown Public Schools; Docket #FIC 2007-118, Halina Trelski v. Board of Education, Middletown Public Schools; and Docket #FIC 2007-138, Halina Trelski v. Policy Committee, Board of Education, Middletown Public Schools.

 

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)(A), G.S.

 

2.      By letter dated February 20, 2007 and filed February 23, 2007, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act by failing to make minutes available within seven days of the respondent’s January 9, 2007 meeting.

 

3.      It is found that, on January 22, 2007, the complainant asked to review minutes of the January 9, 2007 meeting of the respondent.

 

4.      It is found that, two days before the complainant’s January 22, 2007 request, the complainant made a written request, on January 20, 2007, for a certified copy of the minutes of the January 9, 2007 meeting.

 

5.      It is found that, in response to the complainant’s January 22, 2007 request, the respondent’s secretary told the complainant that the minutes were not available until approved at the next regular meeting of the respondent, then scheduled for February 13, 2007, but which was later postponed to February 27, 2007.

 

6.      At the hearing in this matter, the respondent’s secretary testified that she did not make available the draft minutes of the meeting because she believed the complainant wished to inspect only the approved minutes, in order to determine whether to renew her written request of January 20, 2007 for a certified copy of the approved minutes of the January 9, 2007 meeting.

 

7.      It is found that the respondent’s secretary misunderstood the nature of the complainant’s January 22, 2007 request, as described in paragraph 3, above.

 

8.      Section 1-225(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part: “…minutes shall be available for public inspection within seven days of the session to which they refer.”

 

9.      It is found that the respondent’s secretary had draft minutes available for public inspection within seven days of the January 9, 2007 meeting, as required by 1-225(a), G.S.

 

10.    At the hearing in this matter, the respondent’s secretary testified that she knew that the FOI Act requires minutes to be available for public inspection within seven days of an agency’s meeting.

 

11.   Based on the facts and circumstances of this case, it is concluded that the respondent 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 dismissed.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of September 12, 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:

 

Halina Trelski

49 Summer Hill Road

Middletown, CT 06457

 

Board of Education,

Middletown Public Schools

c/o Rebecca R. Santiago, Esq.

Shipman & Goodwin LLP

One Constitution Plaza

Hartford, CT 06103-1919

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2007-119FD/paj/9/19/2007