FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Milly Arciniegas,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2008-347

Superintendent of Schools,

Hartford Public Schools; and

Board of Education,

Hartford Public Schools,

 
  Respondents April 22, 2009
       

           

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 9, 2008, at which time the complainant and the respondents 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  By letter of complaint filed May 16, 2008, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that she received no response to her requests for records from the respondents.

 

3.  It is found that the complainant requested by letters dated April 24, 2008 and May 8, 2008 the following records and information:

 

                        a.     A breakdown of how many psychologists, social workers, speech and language pathologists, and special education teachers are in each of the Hartford schools, including magnets, and how many children do they serve in their appropriate schools;

 

                        b.     The same information requested in paragraph a, above, for the school year 2006-2007;

 

                        c.     The job descriptions of the psychologists, social workers, speech and language pathologists and special education teachers;

 

                        d.    Detailed financial report of allocated funds per special need student.

 

4.  It is found that the individual assigned the task of compiling the records for the complainant was the Assistant Superintendent for Learning Support Services (the “Assistant Superintendent”).  It is further found that the Assistant Superintendent had only recently been appointed to the position of Assistant Superintendent, that she had responsibility over five different departments in the Hartford Public Schools central office, that she had or was in the process of removing approximately ten employees out of a staff of approximately 65 for lack of productivity; and that her charge generally was to make Learning Support Services responsive to the complaints of parents.

 

5.  It is found that none of the requested records were contained in the Assistant Superintendent’s office.

 

6.  It is found that the Assistant Superintendent immediately, upon receipt of the request, contacted the individuals who she believed would have custody of the records, and diligently sought responses from them.

 

7.  It is found that the respondents conducted a diligent search, collected all the responsive records in their custody, created certain additional records in response to the request, and provided a package of documents to the complainant on July 22, 2008.

 

8.  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.

 

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

 

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 (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212. 

 

10.  It is found that the records described in paragraph 7, above, are public records within the meaning of 1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S.

 

11.  It is concluded that, under the facts and circumstances of this case, the requested records, to the extent they existed, were provided promptly.

 

 

 

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 regular meeting of April 22, 2009.

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

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:

 

Milly Arciniegas

126 Yale Street

Hartford, CT 06106

 

Superintendent of Schools,

Hartford Public Schools; and

Board of Education,

Hartford Public Schools

C/o Catharine H. Freeman, Esq.

Assistant Corporation Counsel

City of Hartford

550 Main Street, Room 303

Hartford, CT 06103

 

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2008-347FD/sw/4/28/2009