FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Lamberto Lucarelli,       
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2009-642
Chief, Police Department, Town of
Old Saybrook; and Police Department,
Town of Old Saybrook,
 
  Respondents October 13, 2010
       

 

            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 11, 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, this matter was consolidated with Docket #FIC2009-728; Lamberto Lucarelli v. Chief, Police Department, Town of Old Saybrook; and Police Department, Town of Old Saybrook

 

            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 October 7, 2008, the complainant requested copies of the personnel files of Patrolman Jeffrey DePerry, Lieutenant Michael Spera, Detective Sergeant Eugean Heiney and Police Chief Edmund Mosca.  Having not received the requested records, it is further found that, by letter dated October 22, 2009, the complainant renewed such request.

 

            3.  By letter dated October 22, 2009, and filed with the Commission on October 23, 2009, the complainant alleged that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying him copies of the requested records. 

 

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…receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212. 

 

            6.  It is found that the respondents maintain the records requested by the complainant, and that 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 respondents provided the complainant with copies of the personnel files of Michael Spera (183 pages) and Jeffrey DePerry (109 pages) on January 26, 2010 and January 28, 2010, respectively.  It is found that the respondents waived copying fees for such records.    

 

            8.  It is found that, on January 26, 2010 and January 28, 2010, the complainant signed statements in which he acknowledged receipt of the copies described in paragraph 7, above, stated that he understood that the personnel files of Eugean Heiney and Edmund Mosca were being processed, and granted the respondents’ request for additional time to process those files until February 26, 2010. 

 

            9.  With respect to all personnel files which are being provided to the complainant, it is found that the subjects of such files have objected to release of social security numbers, home addresses, telephone numbers, driver’s license numbers, family information, and medical information.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainant testified that he does not dispute such redactions, with the exception of the home addresses of the officers.

 

            10.  At the hearing in this matter, the hearing officer explained application of 1-217(a), G.S., which provides, in pertinent part:

 

No public agency may disclose, under the Freedom of Information Act, the residential address of any of the following persons:…A sworn member of a municipal police department….

 

            11.  After the explanation described in paragraph 10, above, the complainant withdrew his request for the home addresses of the police officers described in paragraph 2, above.

 

            12.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainant contended that the respondents have not been prompt in this matter.  The respondents contended that several of the police officers described in paragraph 2, above, have personnel files numbering in the hundreds of pages, since they have been members of the respondent department for many years, and that the respondents were working to provide the complainant with all requested records by February 26, 2010.  The Commission notes that, as described in paragraph 8, above, the complainant acquiesced to such date as a production deadline on January 26, 2010 and January 28, 2010.

 

            13.  Based on the facts and circumstances of this case, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act, as specifically 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 October 13, 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:

 

Lamberto Lucarelli

21 Howard Street

Old Saybrook, CT 06475

 

Chief, Police Department, Town of

Old Saybrook; and Police Department,

Town of Old Saybrook

c/o Michael E. Cronin, Jr., Esq.

201 Main Street

PO Box 454

Old Saybrook, CT 06475                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

 

 

____________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

 

FIC/2009-642FD/paj/10/14/2010