FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Bradshaw Smith,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2009-537

Donald Trinks, Mayor, Town

of Windsor,  

 
  Respondent August 25, 2010
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 20, 2010, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The Commission takes administrative notice of the record and final decision in Docket #FIC2009-610; Bradshaw Smith v. Donald Trinks, Mayor, Town of Windsor; Alan Simon, Deputy Mayor, Town of Windsor; Donald Jepsen, Minority Leader, Town Council, Town of Windsor; and Town of Windsor.

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

 

            1.  The respondent is a public agency, within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

            2.   It is found that, by letter dated September 7, 2009, the complainant requested that the respondent mayor provide him with a copy of all documents used on such date in the evaluation of the town manager conducted by the town council.    

 

            3.  By letter of complaint dated September 12, 2009, and filed September 15, 2009, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to respond to the request described in paragraph 2, above.  The complainant requested the imposition of a civil penalty in this matter.    

           

4.  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.

 

            5.  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. 

 

            6.  It is found that, to the extent the respondent maintains the records requested by the complainant, such records are public records within the meaning of 1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S., and must be disclosed, unless they are exempt from disclosure.

 

            7.  It is found that the request letter described in paragraph 2, above, listed the address of the respondent mayor as 275 Broad Street, which is Windsor Town Hall.  However, it is found that such letter was not received at Windsor Town Hall prior to the filing of the complaint in this matter. 

 

            8.  It is found that the complainant subsequently sent a letter, dated October 5, 2009, to the respondent mayor, to the deputy mayor, and to the minority leader of the town council, and requested that they provide him with a copy of all documents used on such date in the evaluation of the town manager conducted by the town council.   

 

            9.  It is found that the request letter described in paragraph 8, above, listed the address of the persons described in paragraph 8, above, as 275 Broad Street, which is Windsor Town Hall.  However, it is found that such letter was not mailed to Windsor Town Hall.  Rather, it is found that such letter was mailed to the residences of the mayor, the deputy mayor, and the minority leader. 

 

            10.  At the hearing in this matter, the minority leader testified that he received the letter described in paragraph 8, above, at his residence, and, because the letter indicates it was sent to Town Hall, assumed that such letter was mailed, appropriately, to Town Hall, and that what he received at his residence was a courtesy copy.  The Commission finds the testimony of the minority leader to be credible, and further finds that the minority leader’s assumption was quite reasonable.

 

            11.  It is found that the town manager of Windsor is responsible for fulfilling the day-to-day public records requests made of the mayor’s office and the town council’s office.  It is found that, in mid-October 2009, as soon as the town manager became aware of the requests described in paragraphs 2 and 8, above, he provided the complainant with the requested copies. 

 

            12.  Based on the facts and circumstances of this case, it is concluded that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act, as alleged in the complaint. 

 

 

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

 

1.       The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

            Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 25, 2010.

 

 

____________________________

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:

 

Bradshaw Smith

23 Ludlow Road

Windsor, CT 06095


Donald Trinks, Mayor, Town

of Windsor

C/o Vincent W. Oswecki, Jr., Esq.

O’Malley, Deneen, Leary, Messina & Oswecki

20 Maple Avenue

P.O. Box 504

Windsor, CT 06095

 

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2009-537FD/sw/8/27/2010