FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Jason Casiano,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2008-761

Chief, Police Department,

City of Waterbury;

Police Department,

City of Waterbury; and

Craig Sullivan, Corporation Counsel,

City of Waterbury,

 
  Respondents November 18, 2009
       

               

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 14, 2009, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  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.  By letter of complaint filed December 2, 2008, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying his November 24, 2008 request for public records, and requesting the imposition of a civil penalty.

 

            3.  The Commission takes administrative notice of its records and files in Docket #FIC 2006-289, Jason Casiano v. Chief, Police Department, City of Waterbury (“Casiano I”).

 

4.  In Casiano I, the complainant had requested the following records:

 

a.        “All established rules procedures/regulations with matters dealing with juveniles and minors, pertaining to: questioning, arrest, interrogations etc. with all procedures relating to the above;”

b.      “All minority police officers (black/Hispanic in specific) identity and police numbers, that worked on the workforce for this department on the following dates 8/11/95, along with any records or complaints of these said officers, at any time;”

c.       “All police procedure during 8/11/95 through 8/13/95, dealing with the bringing in of arrested individuals into the police station, in their patrol cars/police cars, with the logging in of such in the police station books along with the name of such procedure and books;”

d.      “A copy of all police log-ins, from police officers who brought or transported arrested individuals or any individuals, into the police station in their patrol cars on the following date 8-13-95;”

e.       “A copy of all dispatches of any and all police officers to any and all locations on 8-13-95, in the Waterbury area;”

f.       “A copy of all police communications (or transcript or such) with all police communications with dispatches of the Waterbury police department, or by way of any other radio communications with the department on the following date 8-13-95;” and

g.      “A copy of all information of orders, of police officer involvement in: All Waterbury police officer assisted arrest with other officers from other departments on the following date 8-13-95, along with any Waterbury police officers assist in the securing of any house grounds etc. on the following date 8-13-95, all in the Waterbury area on said date.”

 

5.  The Commission found in Casiano I that requests b, d, and g in paragraph 3, above, were unclear and imprecise, that the respondent had requested clarification, and that the complainant had failed to provide clarification.  Based on those facts, the Commission concluded in Casiano I that the respondent had not violated the FOI Act by failing to provide records in response to requests b, d and g, and encouraged the complainant to provide the clarification.

 

6.  It is found that the complainant clarified his earlier request by making a written request dated November 24, 2008 to the respondents for the following records: 

 

a.   A list of all Waterbury police officers that were Black or Hispanic who worked between the dates of August 11, 1995 through August 13, 1995;

 

b.   A list of all patrol officers that worked shifts on August 13, 1995 that were Black or Hispanic;

 

c.   A copy of all police “log-ins” for the August 13, 1995; specifically, the patrol log-ins (from police cruisers) of all transported or arrested individuals brought into the police station on that day, with the name of those officers;

 

d.   The “book-ins officer’s list/log” on August 13, 1995 in which the desk/book-in officer lists people booked and processed at the Waterbury police station, as well as the “log/journal” in which the book-in officer would list all police officers and individuals brought into the Waterbury police station by a patrol officer;

 

e.   A copy of all patrol log-ins, journals or reports on August 13, 1995 that any patrol officer working on that date would have made concerning any transportation of individuals in his squad car to the Waterbury police department, and any records of searches conducted after such transportation;

 

f.    A copy of the specific records or logs that each patrol officer signs during the day or at the end of his shift, concerning his squad car and his transports for the day;

 

g.   A copy of all records regarding any involvement of Waterbury police officers assisting an arrest with other police officers from other police departments; and

 

h.   A copy of the 30 pages of documents “that your office held and had ready under FOI # 0100-154 (your office file number) that was mentioned in documents and in FOI hearing held on November 7, 2006” [i.e., Casiano I].

 

7.  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.

 

8.  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.

 

9. Section 1-212(a)(1), G.S., provides in relevant part: “Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.”

 

10.  It is found that the requested records, to the extent they exist, are public records within the meaning of 1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

11.  It is found that the respondents conducted a very diligent search for the requested records, including searches of archived records; all existing logs from the relevant time period; records in different areas of the police station including the detective bureau, vice and intelligence; and records in computerized form. 

 

12.  It is found that the respondents provided all existing records that are responsive to the requests in paragraph 6, above. 

 

13.  It is found that many of the requested documents, particularly “green sheets” that are patrol activity logs filled out by individual patrol officers at the end of the day, have properly not been retained from August, 1995.

 

14.  It is found that the arrest logs provided in response to paragraphs 6.c and 6.d, above, were redacted to eliminate cases that were nolle’d or dismissed.  None of the redacted information pertains to the complainant.

 

15. It is found that the respondent does not have the 30 pages of documents referenced in paragraph 6.g., above, and that the request was based on a misunderstanding.

 

16.  The Commission notes that the complainant is seeking records concerning his own August 13, 1995 arrest, because he was brought into the Waterbury police station and searched, but has been unable to locate any Waterbury police department records that reflect that occurrence.

 

17.  It is found that the complainant was brought into the Waterbury police station in August of 1995 on a Naugatuck warrant, detained for several hours, and ultimately taken into custody by the North Haven police department on a North Haven warrant.

 

18.  It is found that the Waterbury police department did not charge the complainant with any crime, did not “process” him by taking fingerprints or a mug shot, and therefore did not permanently record his detention because he was not arrested.

 

19.  It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act as alleged.

 

  

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 November 18, 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:

 

Jason Casiano #240833

Cheshire Correctional Institution

900 Highland Avenue

Cheshire, CT 06410

 

Chief, Police Department,

City of Waterbury;

Police Department,

City of Waterbury; and

Craig Sullivan, Corporation Counsel,

City of Waterbury

C/o Kevin S. Daly, Jr., Esq.

Corporation Counsel’s Office

26 Kendrick Avenue, 8th Floor

Waterbury, CT 06702

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2008-761FD/sw/11/23/2009