FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|against||Docket #FIC 2009-761|
Planning and Zoning Commission, City of
Bridgeport; and City of Bridgeport,
|Respondents||September 8, 2010|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 13, 2010, 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 2009-759; Donal C. Collimore v. City Attorney, City of Bridgeport; and City of Bridgeport; Docket # FIC 2009-760; Donal C. Collimore v. Planning and Zoning Commission, City of Bridgeport; and City of Bridgeport; Docket # FIC 2009-762; Donal C. Collimore v. Records Official, City Council, City of Bridgeport; and City Council, City of Bridgeport; Docket # FIC 2009-763; Donal C. Collimore v. Mayor, City of Bridgeport; and City of Bridgeport; Docket # FIC 2009-764; Donal C. Collimore v. Ethics Commission, City of Bridgeport; and City of Bridgeport.
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 November 27, 2009, the complainant requested from the respondents “a copy of the transcript from the October 14, 2009 Planning and Zoning hearing.”
3. By letter dated December 14, 2009, and filed on December 16, 2009, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide it with copies of the records, described in paragraph 2, above.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.”
7. It is found that the records requested by the complainant are public records and must be disclosed in accordance with §§1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
8. At the hearing in this matter, the respondents, through counsel, stated that they would provide the complainant with a 100-page Planning and Zoning Commission meeting transcript, responsive to his November 27th request, as soon as it was located, at no charge.
9. The respondents, through counsel, also acknowledged that their response to the complainant’s records request was untimely, but that such delay was justifiable given their shortage of staff and funding.
10. It is found that the respondents failed to provide the complainant with records, responsive to his November 27th request, pursuant to §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
11. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondents violated §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., by failing to promptly provide to the complainant copies of the requested records, described in paragraph 2, above.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The respondents shall forthwith provide to the complainant, free of charge, a copy of all requested records that have not previously been provided.
2. Henceforth, the respondents shall strictly comply with the promptness provisions of §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 8, 2010.
Cynthia A. Cannata
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:
c/o Donal C. Collimore, Esq.
1150 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
Planning and Zoning Commission, City of Bridgeport; and
City of Bridgeport
c/o Melanie J. Howlett, Esq.
Office of the City Attorney
999 Broad Street, 2nd Floor
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission