FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Virginia E. Carmany,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2006-667

Edward Ward, Chairman,

Water Pollution Control Authority,

Town of Chester; Pat Bisacky, Tom

Englert, Arthur Henick and John King,

as members, Water Pollution Control

Authority, Town of Chester; and Water

Pollution Control Authority, Town of

Chester,

 
  Respondents October 10, 2007
       

 

          The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 14, 2007, at which time the complainant and the respondents 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 2006-666; Virginia E. Carmany v. Edward Ward, Chairman, Water Pollution Control Authority, Town of Chester; Pat Bisacky, Tom Englert, Arthur Henick and John King, as members, Water Pollution Control Authority, Town of Chester; Water Pollution Control Authority, Town of Chester; and Thomas Marsh, First Selectman, Town of Chester; and Docket #FIC 2006-668; Virginia E. Carmany v. Edward Ward, Chairman, Water Pollution Control Authority, Town of Chester; and Water Pollution Control Authority, Town of Chester.

 

 

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.  By e-mail dated December 13, 2006, and filed with the Commission on December 14, 2006, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (hereinafter “FOI”) Act by:

 

a) failing to notify her of the respondent authority’s special meeting of November 2, 2006;

 

b) failing to notify her of a cancellation of a November 15, 2006, meeting of the respondent authority; and

 

c) failing to properly notify her of the respondent authority’s special meeting of November 28, 2006;

 

3.  With respect to the allegation described in paragraph 2.b, above, it is concluded that such allegation does not allege a violation of the FOI Act.  Accordingly, such allegation shall not be further addressed herein. 

 

4.  With respect to the allegations described in paragraphs 2.a and 2.c, above, 1-227, G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

The public agency shall, where practicable, give notice by mail of each regular meeting, and of any special meeting which is called, at least one week prior to the date set for the meeting, to any person who has filed a written request for such notice with such body, except that such body may give such notice as it deems practical of special meetings called less than seven days prior to the date set for the meeting.  Such notice requirement shall not apply to the General Assembly, either house thereof or to any committee thereof.  Any request for notice filed pursuant to this section shall be valid for one year from the date on which it is filed unless a renewal request is filed.  Renewal requests for notice shall be filed within thirty days after January first of each year.  Such public agency may establish a reasonable charge for sending such notice based on the estimated cost of providing such service.

 

5.  It is found that, on June 19, 2006, the complainant made a written request to the respondents for notice of the meetings of the respondent authority, within the meaning of 1-227, G.S.

 

6.  At the hearing in this matter, the respondent chairman stipulated that he did not provide the complainant with notice of the respondent authority’s special meeting of November 2, 2006, because he believed that such meeting was a workshop not requiring notice under 1-227, G.S.  The respondent chairman also stipulated that he now understands that workshops are meetings under the FOI Act, and that his failure to notify the complainant of the November 2, 2006, meeting was a violation of the FOI Act.  The respondent chairman apologized for the violation and pledged to comply with 1-227, G.S., in the future.  

 

7.  It is concluded that the respondents violated the FOI Act, as alleged in paragraph 2.a, above.  

 

8.  With respect to paragraph 2.c, above, it is found that the respondents provided the complainant with written notice of the respondent authority’s November 28, 2006 meeting on November 24, 2006.  It is further found that the complainant attended the November 28, 2006 meeting of the respondent. 

 

9.  It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act, as alleged in paragraph 2.c, above.

 

10.  Based on the facts and circumstances of this case, the Commission declines to consider the imposition of civil penalties in this matter.  

 

            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 October 10, 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:

 

Virginia E. Carmany

c/o Keith R. Ainsworth, Esq.

Evans, Feldman & Boyer, LLC

261 Bradley Street

New Haven, CT 06507-1694

 

Edward Ward, Chairman,

Water Pollution Control Authority,

Town of Chester; Pat Bisacky, Tom

Englert, Arthur Henick and John King,

as members, Water Pollution Control

Authority, Town of Chester; and Water

Pollution Control Authority, Town of

Chester

c/o John S. Bennet, Esq.

Gould, Larson, Bennet, Wells & McDonnell, PC

35 Plains Road

PO Box 959

Essex, CT 06426

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2006-667FD/paj/10/17/2007