FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Daniel R. Schwartz,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2009-030

Donna B. Munroe, Associate Vice

President for Human Resources and

Payroll Services, State of Connecticut,

University of Connecticut; and State

of Connecticut, University of Connecticut,

 
  Respondents August 26, 2009
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 27, 2009, 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.  It is found that, by email dated November 21, 2008, the complainant made a request to the respondents for copies of the following records: “all reports on the investigation on which Ed Math and I met with you and Pamela Morrison-Wolf on September 6, 2005 regarding Dr. Doug Stone and controlled substance access.” 

 

3.  By email dated November 25, 2008, the respondents acknowledged the complainant’s request for records. 

 

4.  By letter of complaint dated and filed January 14, 2009, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by not complying with his request for records.  In his complaint, the complainant requested that the respondents be ordered to remit a civil penalty in the amount of $1,000.  

 

5.  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.

 

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

 

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 . . .  (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.

 

7.  Section 1-212(a)(1), G.S., provides in relevant part that:

 

Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.

 

8.  It is found that, to the extent that the respondents maintain the records described in paragraph 2, above, the records are “public records” and must be disclosed in accordance with 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., unless they are exempt from disclosure.

 

9. It is found that, in response to the complainant’s request for records, on December 20, 2008, the respondents provided the complainant with a one-page Investigation Summary regarding a 2008 investigation.

 

10. It is further found that, by email dated December 20, 2008, the complainant informed the respondents that the one-page record referred to in paragraph 9, above, was not responsive to his request, as he had requested reports on investigations occurring in or around September 6, 2005.

 

11. It is further found that, by email dated December 23, 2008, the respondents replied to the complainant’s December 20, 2008 email referred to in paragraph 10, above, explaining that the report they provided in response to the complainant’s request for records was the only report that existed.  The respondents further responded that they would review their files again to see if they had any other records responsive to the complainant’s request. 

 

12. It is further found that, by email dated January 27, 2009, the respondents informed the complainant that they had rechecked their files for additional responsive reports, and determined again that no report had been produced in connection with the 2005 investigation. 

 

13. The complainant testified that he believed that, in connection with the 2005 investigation, the respondents had produced summaries of interviews, and that these records should have been provided to him in response to his request for records, referred to in paragraph 2, above.

 

14.  The respondents testified that they did not provide the complainant with the summaries of the interviews that they had produced in connection with the 2005 investigation because the complainant’s request for records was for “reports” and the respondents did not consider these summaries to be responsive to the complainant’s request. 

 

15. Based on a review of the written request for records, referred to in paragraph 2, above, it is found that the complainant did not request the interview summaries referred to in paragraph 13 and 14, above.  However, the complainant is free to make a public records request for these records at any time.  If the complainant does make such a request, he is encouraged to request “any and all records” in the respondents’ possession that are related in any way to the 2005 investigation referred to in paragraph 2, above. 

 

16. It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the requirements 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 complaint is dismissed.

 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 26, 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:

 

Daniel R. Schwartz

156 Highland Road

Mansfield Center, CT 06250

 

Donna B. Munroe, Associate Vice

President for Human Resources and

Payroll Services, State of Connecticut,

University of Connecticut; and State

of Connecticut, University of Connecticut

C/o Michael Sullivan, Esq.

Assistant Attorney General

343 Mansfield Road, Unit 2177

Storrs, CT 06269

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2009-030FD/sw/8/31/2009