FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Johnny Mahoney,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2008-393

Chief, Police Department, City of

Bridgeport; and Police Department,

City of Bridgeport,

 
  Respondents May 13, 2009
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 12, 2008, at which time the respondents failed to appear.  The complainant, who is incarcerated, appeared via teleconference, pursuant to the January 2004 memorandum of understanding between the Commission and the Department of Correction.  See Docket No. CV 03-0826293, Anthony Sinchak v. FOIC et al, Superior Court, J.D. of Hartford at Hartford, Corrected Order dated January 27, 2004 (Sheldon, J.).  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 May 22, 2008, the complainant requested copies of all records concerning a September 18, 1997 incident with the Bridgeport Police Department in which the complainant was shot.  It is found that the complainant’s request included copies of pictures, incident reports, supplemental reports, warrant affidavits, copies of warrants, ballistic and forensic evidence, and all dispatcher transcripts of September 18, 1997.

 

3.      It is found that the complainant received neither an acknowledgement of his request nor any copies of the records he requested from the respondents.

 

4.      By letter dated June 7, 2008, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide him with copies of the records he requested, described in paragraph 2, above.

 

5.      Section 1-200(5), G.S., defines “public records or files” as: 

Any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency … whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.

 

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 the provisions of 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 records requested by the complainant are public records, within the meaning of 1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S.

9.      It is found that the complainant testified that several months ago a clerk for the respondents told the complainant’s counselor at his correctional institution that the complainant needed to be patient while the respondents processed the complainant’s request for records.

10.    It is found that the respondents have not provided any copies of the records he requested, described in paragraph 2, above.

11.   Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondents violated 1-210(a) and 212(a), G.S., of the FOI Act.

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

 

1.       The respondents forthwith shall provide to the complainant, free of charge, all copies of the records he requested, described in paragraph 2 of the findings, above.

 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May l3, 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:

 

Johnny Mahoney #252954   

Garner C I

50 Nunnawauk Road

Newtown, CT 06470

 

Chief

Police Department

City of Bridgeport

300 Congress Street

Bridgeport, CT 06604

 

 and

 

Police Department

City of Bridgeport

300 Congress Street

Bridgeport, CT 06604

 

 

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2008-393FD/sw/5/18/2009