FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Troy Thomas,    
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2009-536
Internal Affairs Division,
Police Department, City of Hartford; and
Police Department, City of Hartford,
  Respondents August 11, 2010
       

 

            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 24, 2009, at which time the complainant and respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  For purposes of hearing, the above- captioned matter was consolidated with Docket # FIC 2009-567; Troy Thomas v. Mayor, City of Hartford; Office of the Mayor, City of Hartford; and City of Hartford; and Docket # FIC 2009-571; Troy Thomas v. Office of the Corporation Counsel, City of Hartford; and City of Hartford.  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 August 30, 2009, the complainant made a request to the respondents for the following:

 

[a] Raynette Little civilian complaint from the Mayor[’s] Office from September 10, 2004;

 

[b] Raynette Little investigation from City Hall, not Hartford Police Investigation;

 

[c] Raynette Little investigation of Ortiz and Sanzo from Mayor’s Office after 9-2-04 arrest;

 

[d] Raynette Little search warrant from 9-8-04/not the 9/2/04 search warrant;

 

[e] Disposition of Raynette Little 9-2-04 case with date’s [sic] of disposition;

 

[f] All [i]nvestigation reports from City Hall into Raynette Little complaint of Ortiz;

 

[g] A copy of the Press Release from 10/22/04 [d]ue to Ortiz and Sanzo arrest;

 

[h] Date of when State’s Attorney Office was contacted of Raynette Little complaint;

 

[i] A copy of all the paperwork that was forwarded to Hartford Police on 9-10-04 from City Hall Mayor’s Office; [and]

 

[j] [A]ll reports and [i]nvestigations due to Raynette Little filed civilian complaint from City Hall only.

 

3.      By letter dated September 9, 2009, and filed on September 15, 2009, 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 described in paragraph 2, above. 

 

4.      At the hearing in this matter, the complainant stated that the records described in paragraphs 2.b, 2.c, 2.d, 2.f, 2.g, 2.h, 2.i and 2.j, above, are no longer at issue in this matter.  Accordingly, only the records described in paragraphs 2.a and 2.e, above, will be addressed herein.  

 

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

 

7.      Section 1-212(a), 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 the records requested by the complainant, to the extent that they exist, are public records within the meaning of 1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

9.      It is found that in early September 2004 a civilian complaint was filed with the Mayor’s Office for the City of Hartford by Raynette Little which was subsequently forwarded to the Police Department for the City of Hartford for an Internal Affairs investigation.

 

10.  It is found that the respondents do not maintain or keep on file copies of the requested record as described in paragraph 2.e, above.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate the provisions of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., with respect to the request as described in paragraph 2.e, above.

 

11.  It is found that, by letter dated September 10, 2009, the respondents informed the complainant that the Hartford Police Department does not “maintain” the file with records responsive to the request as described in paragraph 2.a, above.

 

12.  Despite the September 10, 2009 letter described in paragraph 11, above, at the hearing, the respondents stated that, pursuant to a previous records request not at issue in this matter, the respondents did provide the complainant with a copy of the Internal Affairs investigation report concerning the Raynette Little civilian complaint which contained a copy of the civilian complaint as described in paragraph 2.a, above.  The respondents also offered to provide the complainant with another copy of the entire Internal Affairs investigation report, which the complainant acknowledged he already has in his possession.   

 

13.  It is found that the respondents do maintain or keep on file copies of the requested record as described in paragraph 2.a, above.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondents violated the provisions of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., with respect to the request as described in paragraph 2.a, above.

 

 

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

                                                                       

1  If the respondents have not already done so, they shall forthwith provide the complainant with a second copy of the requested record as described in paragraph 2.a, above.  

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 11, 2010.

 

 

__________________________

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:

 

Troy Thomas, #216082

Osborn Correctional Institution

PO Box 100

Somers, CT 06071

 

Internal Affairs Division,

Police Department, City of Hartford; and

Police Department,City of Hartford

c/o Nathalie Feola-Guerrieri, Esq.

City of Hartford

Office of the Corporation Counsel

550 Main Street, Room 303

Hartford, CT 06103

 

 

 

 

____________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

FIC/2009-536FD/paj/8/13/2010