FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
James Torlai,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2009-770

Commissioner, State of Connecticut,

Department of Public Safety, Division of

State Police; and State of Connecticut,

Department of Public Safety, Division of

State Police,

 
  Respondents October 13, 2010
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 19, June 10, and July 13, 2010, at which times the complainant and the respondents appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  At the April 19, 2010 hearing in this matter, the respondents moved, and the hearing officer denied, the respondents’ request to consolidate this matter with James Torlai v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety; and State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety, Docket #FIC 2009- 325 (“Torlai One”), which had been heard on October 20, 2009, and on which a Report of Hearing Officer was issued but not yet adopted by this Commission at the time of the April 19 hearing.[1]  Thereafter, the respondents stated that they wished for the legal arguments they advanced in Torlai One, to be adopted in the present matter.      

           

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 July 14, 2009, the complainant requested records relating to DUI arrests made by the State Police Troop A on nine different dates.  Specifically, the complainant requested:  “the name and address of each person arrested, the time of the arrest, and the offense charged.  For cases where a blood alcohol test was performed I would like a copy of the test results.  If there is a journal similar to the one on the BAT mobile with test results then copies from the book would be fine.”      

3.  It is found that, by letter dated September 17, 2009 (the “September 17 letter”), the respondents informed the complainant that “we have located records of thirteen (13) DUI-related arrests made by Troop A personnel…on the dates you provided” and that “[o]f the thirteen arrests, there are eight pending prosecutions, four erased records, and one conviction.” 

 

4.  It is further found that, in the September 17 letter, the respondents provided the complainant with certain information “for the eight cases currently pending and the one conviction,” in the form of a chart, as follows:

 

Name

Address

Date

Time

Charges

Saul Rivera

460 Candee Rd., Naugatuck, CT

9/6/08

2303

14-227a, 14-236

Heriberto Colon

31 Rose St., Waterbury, CT

9/7/08

0115

14-227a, 14-236

Mark Mazza

17 Beverly Ln., Shelton

9/7/08

0251

14-227a, 14-236, 14-36

Christopher Bergin

31 Jillson Cir., Waterbury, CT

10/12/08

0140

14-227a

Robert Weinstein

19 Avery St., Stamford, CT

10/12/08

0158

14-227a, 14-218a

Wilson Barzallo

140 Green St., Wolcott, CT

10/12/08

0442

14-227a, 14-36, 14-236

John Lamadeleine

23 Woodgaite Dr., Wolcott, CT

2/12/09

1602

14-227a, 14-236, 14-296aa(b), 21a-257

Robert Faulkner

164 Peck Ln., Southbury, CT

3/26/09

0158

14-227a, 14-236

Michael Burns

18 Brooklawn Terr., Oxford, CT

4/9/09

2305

14-227a, 14-230

 

It is also found that, with the September 17 letter, the respondents provided the complainant with copies of records pertaining to Mark Mazza relating to the two charges on which Mazza was convicted. 

  

5.  However, it is found that, the respondents further stated, in the September 17 letter, that certain information and records had been withheld from disclosure, as follows: 

 

(a)  with regard to “pending cases”, all records, including the DUI arrest log entries and any results of blood alcohol testing were withheld from disclosure pursuant to 1-215, G.S.;  and,

 

(b)  with regard to erased records, all information and records were withheld from disclosure pursuant to 54-142a, G.S.

 

6.  It is found that, in response to the September 17 letter, the complainant, by letter dated November 20, 2009, again requested the records described in paragraph 2, above, that he had not yet received, stating he would accept copies of erased records and copies of records relating to pending cases, redacted to eliminate identifying information.

 

7.  It is found that, by letter dated November 25, 2009 (the “November 25 letter”), the respondents reiterated their position, stating that they had previously provided certain information to him with their September 17 letter, and that certain records and information were withheld from disclosure pursuant to 1-215 and 54-142a, G.S.  However, it is found that the November 25 letter stated that, as of that date, seven of the 13 cases, rather than the four previously reported, now had no “public records” associated with them.  Specifically, it is found that Mazza’s, Rivera’s and Colon’s  names and arrest information were no longer listed on an updated chart provided to the complainant contained in the November 25 letter, indicating to the complainant that the records pertaining to these individuals had been erased.    

 

8.  By letter dated December 17, 2009, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to comply with the request for records described in paragraph 2, above.

 

9.  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.

 

10.  Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part:

 

[e]xcept 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.

 

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

 

12.  It is found that the respondents retain the documents described in paragraph 2, above, and it is therefore concluded that such records are “public records” within the meaning of 1-200(5), 1-210(a), and 1-212(a), G.S., and that copies of such records must be provided in accordance with 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., unless the records, or portions thereof, are exempt from disclosure.

 

13.  It is found that the requested records, described in paragraph 2, above, are created by the respondents when a DUI arrest is made.  Specifically, it is found that when an individual is arrested by the respondents for a DUI offense, certain information is recorded by the respondents concerning the arrested individual.  It is also found that some of the information recorded by the respondents emanates from an “intoxilyzer” machine.

 

14.  With regard to the criminal cases the respondents deem “pending,” the respondents claim that the records sought by the complainant are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-215, G.S. 

 

15.   Section 1-215, G.S., provides as follows:

 

 (a)  Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, and except as otherwise provided in this section, any record of the arrest of any person, other than a juvenile, except a record erased pursuant to chapter 961a, shall be a public record from the time of such arrest and shall be disclosed in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212 and subsection (a) of section 1-210, except that disclosure of data or information other than that set forth in subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of this section shall be subject to the provisions of subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of section 1-210.  Any personal possessions or effects found on a person at the time of such person's arrest shall not be disclosed unless such possessions or effects are relevant to the crime for which such person was arrested. (Emphasis supplied).

(b)  For the purposes of this section, “record of the arrest” means (1) the name and address of the person arrested, the date, time and place of the arrest and the offense for which the person was arrested, and (2) at least one of the following, designated by the law enforcement agency:  The arrest report, incident report, news release or other similar report of the arrest of a person.

 

16.  At the respondents’ request, the following argument with respect to 1-215, G.S, is adopted from Torlai One

 

a.  At the hearing in this matter, the respondents contended that the records were [ ] [withheld][2] pursuant to 1-215, G.S., because the cases to which the records pertain were “pending.”  Furthermore, the respondents specifically stated that they were not claiming an exemption for the records at issue pursuant to 1-210(b)(3), G.S.

 

b.  It is the respondents’ position that, other than the pieces of information required to be disclosed pursuant to 1-215, G.S., they are not required to disclose any other records having to do with or relating in any way to the arrest of an individual while the case against such individual is pending in criminal court.

 

c.  It is found that, with regard to the DUI arrests made by the respondents and reflected in the records at issue in this case, the respondents issued a news release in accordance with 1-215(b)(2), G.S.  It is the respondents’ position that, because the news release satisfied the disclosure obligations outlined in 1-215, G.S., they have no additional FOI obligations to disclose other records related to these DUI arrests, such as the records at issue in this case.[3]

 

d.  The respondents concede that, for purposes of 1-215(b)(1), G.S., the records at issue in this case do not constitute “record[s] of arrest.”

 

17.  The respondents contend that the Superior Court decision in Commissioner (see footnote 1) controls.  In Commissioner, the court reversed the Commission’s decision in Docket #FIC2008-312, holding that 1-215, G.S., operates to exempt certain arrest records.  However, the judgment sustaining that administrative appeal itself has been appealed by this Commission to the Appellate Court.  Therefore, pending the final resolution by the Appellate Court or the Supreme Court, the Commission maintains that its decision in Commissioner is correct.   The following analysis sets forth the Commission’s position:

 

a.  When construing statutes, the courts’ and administrative tribunals’ fundamental objective “is to ascertain and give effect to the apparent intent of the legislature.”  State v. Patterson, 276 Conn. 452, 478, 886 A.2d 777 (2005).  “In seeking to discern that intent, we look to the words of the statute itself, to the legislative history and circumstances surrounding its enactment, to the legislative policy it was designed to implement, and to its relationship to the existing legislation and common law principles governing the same general subject matter.”  Id. at 478-79 (quoting State v. Kirk R., 271 Conn. 499, 510, 857 A.2d 908 (2004)). 

 

b.  Pursuant to 1-2z, G.S., “the meaning of a statute shall, in the first instance, be ascertained from the text of the statute itself and its relationship to other statutes.  If, after examining such text and considering such relationship, the meaning of such text is plain and unambiguous and does not yield absurd or unworkable results, extratexual evidence of the meaning of the statute shall not be considered.” 

 

c.  “It is also a general principle of statutory interpretation that every word [in a statute] has meaning regardless of the type of statute.” State v. Brown, Jr., 49 Conn. Supp. 168, 865 A.2d 510 (Conn. Super. Ct. Nov. 2, 2004).  In other words, “no part of a legislative enactment is to be treated as insignificant or unnecessary, and there is a presumption of purpose behind every sentence, clause or phrase. . . [so that] no word [or phrase] in a statute is to be treated as superfluous.”  (Internal quotation marks omitted).  State v. Peeler, 271 Conn. 338, 434-35, 857 A.2d 808 (2004); see also State v. Szymkiewicz, 237 Conn. 613, 621, 678 A.2d 473 (1996) (“It is, however, equally understood that despite the nature of the statute, it must be construed, if possible, such that no clause, sentence or word shall be superfluous, void, or insignificant. . . .”).

 

d.  It is concluded that the language in 1-215, G.S., is clear and unambiguous. 

 

e.  It is further concluded that the interpretation of 1-215(b), G.S., advanced by the respondents would render the obligations and the instructions set forth in 1-215(a), G.S., nugatory, in contravention of the general principle of statutory construction set forth in paragraph 17.c., above.  See State v. Nelson, 126 Conn. 412, 416, 11 A.2d 865 (1940) (“Courts may not by construction supply omissions in a statute, or add exceptions because it appears to them that good reasons exist for adding them.”).  Specifically, it is concluded that the respondents’ interpretation of their disclosure obligations set forth in 1-215(b), G.S., would eviscerate the clear direction in 1-215(a), G.S., which is that the disclosure of law enforcement records must be decided in light of the permissive exemptions set forth in 1-210(b)(3), G.S. ( “disclosure of data or information other than that set forth in subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of [1-215, G.S.] shall be subject to the provision of subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of section 1-210”) (emphasis supplied).

 

f.  It is further concluded that 1-215, G.S., does not exempt records from public disclosure under the FOI Act, but rather mandates that, at a minimum, certain information about arrests must be disclosed.  In instances where an agency seeks to withhold records not mandated to be disclosed pursuant to 1-215, G.S., such public agency must prove that an exemption applies to such other records.

 

18.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the records identified in paragraph 2, above, related to cases deemed “pending” by the respondents, are not exempt from mandatory disclosure by virtue of 1-215, G.S. 

 

19.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents violated the disclosure provisions of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with copies of the records that were withheld pursuant to 1-215, G.S.

 

20.  Next, the respondents claim that certain of the requested records, described in paragraph 2, above, are exempt from disclosure, because they are erased, pursuant to 54-142a, G.S.

 

21.  Section 54-142a, G.S., provides, in relevant part:

 

(a)  Whenever in any criminal case…the accused, by a final judgment, is found not guilty of the charge or the charge is dismissed, all police and court records and records of any state’s attorney pertaining to such charge shall be erased….

(c)(1)  Whenever any charge in a criminal case has been nolled in the Superior Court…if at least thirteen months have elapsed since such nolle, all police and court records and records of the state’s or prosecuting attorney or the prosecuting grand juror pertaining to such charge shall be erased….

            …

(g)  The provisions of this section shall not apply to any police or court records or the records of any state’s attorney or prosecuting attorney with respect to any information or indictment containing more than one count (1) while the criminal case is pending; or (2) when the criminal case is disposed of unless and until all counts are entitled to erasure in accordance with the provisions of this section, except that when the criminal case is disposed of, electronic records or portions of electronic records released to the public that reference a charge that would otherwise be entitled to erasure under this section shall be erased in accordance with the provisions of this section.  … For purposes of this subsection, “electronic record” means any police or court record or the record of any state’s attorney or prosecuting attorney that is an electronic record, as defined in section 1-276, or a computer printout.  (Emphasis added). 

 

            22.  At the April 19, 2010 hearing in this matter, the only witness for the respondents, Sgt. Seth Mancini, an attorney, and formerly a police officer with the Connecticut State Police, testified that he based his conclusion that certain of the requested records were erased, solely on his search of the website of the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch (the “website”).  It is found that the website is the same one available to members of the public to obtain information about pending cases, criminal convictions, jury duty, court decisions and the like.  Mancini testified, and it is found that, he conducted the searches by typing into the website the names of the individuals for whom the state police had arrest information on the dates requested by the complainant, and if those names did not appear in the search results on the website, he concluded that the records had been erased, within the meaning of 54-142a, G.S.  Mancini further testified that he did not check the state police’s own records to determine the status of the criminal cases of the individuals at issue, because he does not have access to the Department of Public Safety’s database that would contain such information.  According to Mancini, the only way for him to determine the status of the criminal cases pertaining to such individuals, is for him to search the website, as described above.

 

23.  Mancini testified that, with regard to the request for records pertaining to Mazza, described in paragraph 2, above, the respondents provided records to the complainant related to the convictions, but withheld records related to the charge that was nolled because “it was within the 13 months.”

 

24.  It is found that, with regard to their claim of erasure with respect to all other records withheld on this basis, the respondents made no distinction between cases that were erased because the charges were dismissed, and those that were erased because the charges had been nolled.  It is further found that, to the extent that any of the charges were, in fact, nolled, the respondents provided no evidence as to the dates the nolles were entered.

 

25.  It is also found that, with regard to their claim of erasure, the respondents made no distinction between indictments that contained a single count, and indictments that contained multiple counts, despite Mancini’s testimony that he understood the erasure law to mean that, where there is a multiple count indictment, the paper records of such indictment are not erased unless all counts of the multiple count indictment are entitled to erasure.

 

            26.  After the April 19, 2010 hearing in this matter, the hearing officer reopened the hearing “to allow the parties to present additional evidence and/or argument concerning [this matter]; specifically, those records claimed to be erased pursuant to 54-142a, G.S.  Such evidence shall be limited to the dates such criminal charges were nolled or otherwise dismissed.”

 

            27.  At the reopened hearing, held on June 10, 2010, the complainant and the respondents appeared, but the respondents offered no additional evidence regarding those records claimed to be exempt from disclosure pursuant to 54-142a, G.S.   The hearing officer asked for additional evidence regarding the meaning of the failure to find an electronic record on the website when an individual’s name is searched, and questioned whether the failure to find an electronic record on the website necessarily means the actual paper records have been erased, within the meaning of the statute.  The hearing officer further asked Mancini whether he had called or visited the court in person, to determine whether he could receive a paper copy of the records pertaining to the criminal cases of the individuals who are the subjects of the request, described in paragraph 2, above.  Mancini responded that he had not.  The respondents’ position at such hearing continued to be that a determination as to whether or not the records at issue are erased under 54-142a, G.S., may be made solely by searching the public website, as described in paragraph 22, above. 

 

            28.  Following the June 10, 2010 hearing in this matter, the hearing officer again reopened the hearing “to allow the parties to present additional evidence and/or argument concerning [this matter]; specifically those records claimed to be erased pursuant to 54-142a, G.S.”

 

            29.  At the reopened hearing, held on July 13, 2010, the complainant and the respondents appeared.  The respondents again offered no additional evidence regarding those records claimed to be exempt from disclosure pursuant to 54-142a, G.S. 

 

            30.  The complainant, however, testified, and it is found that, on June 14, 2010, he went to the court house for the Judicial District of Waterbury, and asked the clerk for court records pertaining to Mark Mazza.  It is found that, upon payment of a copying fee, the clerk located certain records pertaining to Mark Mazza, copied them, and provided the copies to the complainant.  At the July 13 hearing in this matter, the complainant offered the copies of the records as an exhibit, and the respondents objected on the ground that the records were erased.  At such hearing, the hearing officer agreed not to take the records as an exhibit, but, after the respondents offered to submit the records in camera, agreed to take them in camera from the respondents.  However, after the close of the hearing, upon further reflection, the hearing officer reversed her decision, and by order dated July 16, 2010, ordered the complainant to submit such records as evidence, in unredacted form, to the Commission.  The records were received by the Commission on July 20, 2010.[4]     

    

            31.  It is found that the records obtained by the complainant from the court, described in paragraph 30, above, are the court records related to the records that are the subject of the request, described in paragraph 2, above, with respect to Mark Mazza.  Such records are hereby accepted as an after-filed exhibit and shall be marked as Complainant’s Exhibit F.

 

            32.  It is found that Complainant’s Exhibit F reflects that Mazza was arrested on September 7, 2008, and charged with three offenses:  (a)  failure to drive in proper lane; (b)  operating a motor vehicle without a license; and (c)  DUI.   It is found that Complainant’s Exhibit F further shows Mazza was convicted of, or pled guilty to, charges (a) and (b), above, on September 17, 2008, and that charge (c), above, was nolled on September 17, 2008.  

             

            33.  Based upon the findings of fact in paragraphs 30, 31 and 32, above, it is found that Sgt. Mancini’s testimony that the only way for him to determine the status of criminal cases is to search the public website, as described in paragraph 22, above, lacks credibility. 

 

            34.  It is found that 54-142a(g), G.S., applies to the records pertaining to Mazza.  It is found that the language of 54-142a(g), G.S., is clear and unambiguous, and states that the erasure provisions do not apply to “police or court records or records of any state’s attorney…” in a case in which there is a multiple count indictment, unless all counts are entitled to erasure.   

 

            35.  With regard to the three charges listed in paragraph 32, above, it is found that only charge (c) is entitled to erasure.  It is further found that charges (a) and (b) are not entitled to erasure.  Thus, it is found that the police and court records pertaining to Mazza, are not erased, and were not erased at the time of the request, described in paragraph 2, above, by operation of the applicable statute, because not all counts with which Mazza was charged are or were entitled to erasure.[5] 

 

            36.  It is found, also, that the clear and unambiguous language of 54-142a(g), G.S., creates a distinction between physical, paper records, i.e., the “police and court records and records of any state’s attorney” on the one hand, and electronic records, including a “computer printout” on the other.

 

37.  It is found that 54-142a(g), G.S., clearly and unambiguously states that, in cases in which there is a multiple count indictment, and one or more of the counts is dismissed or nolled, and there is a conviction on one or more of the other counts, the electronic record only of the nolled or dismissed charge shall be erased upon disposition of the criminal case.

 

38.  Thus, it is found that the electronic record of the nolled charge pertaining to Mazza was erased, and for this reason, such record did not appear on the website of the judicial branch when Mr. Mancini conducted his search, described in paragraph 22, above.

 

39.  However, it is found that, because the complainant did not request the electronic record of such charge, evidence of the fact that such electronic record is erased is not relevant to the request, described in paragraph 2, above, for copies of the paper records, at issue in this case. 

 

40.  It is therefore concluded that, at least with respect to a request for records involving a multiple count indictment, a search such as the one described in paragraph 22, above, will not produce reliable information regarding whether or not the physical, paper records are erased, within the meaning of 54-142a, G.S.   

 

41.  Based upon the foregoing, it is concluded that the respondents violated the FOI Act when they denied the complainant’s request for records, described in paragraph 2, above, pertaining to Mark Mazza’s DUI charge.

 

42.   Based upon the foregoing, it is further found that the respondents failed to prove that the records, described in paragraph 2, above, pertaining to the arrests of Rivera and Colon, who each were charged with a multiple count indictment, are erased.

 

43.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents violated the FOI Act when they denied the complainant’s request for records, described in paragraph 2, above, pertaining to Rivera and Colon.

 

44.  With regard to the remainder of the records claimed to be erased and therefore exempt from disclosure, it is found that the evidence offered by the respondents, consisting solely of the search of the website, described in paragraph 22, above, while constituting some evidence, does not constitute substantial and reliable evidence that such records are erased.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents failed to prove that such records are exempt from disclosure.

 

45.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents violated the FOI Act when they denied the complainant’s request for records, described in paragraph 2, above, pertaining to the four unnamed individuals referenced in the September 17 letter, on the ground that such records are erased.

 

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 the complainant with a copy of all records, responsive to the request, described in paragraph 2, above, pertaining to Mark Mazza, free of charge.

 

            2.  The respondents shall, forthwith, conduct a search of their own records or contact the clerk’s office for the relevant judicial district(s), to determine, in accordance with the law and this decision, the status of the paper records for each of the other individuals whose records they claim are erased.  The respondents then shall forthwith provide the complainant with copies of all records, responsive to the request described in paragraph 2, above, that have not been erased by operation of law, as explicated in this decision.

 

3.  Forthwith, the respondents shall provide to the complainant unredacted copies of the records responsive to the request described in paragraph 2, above, and more particularly described in paragraph 5(a), above, that were withheld pursuant to 1-215, G.S.

 

            4.  Enforcement of paragraph 3 of the order is stayed until resolution of the appeal of the Memorandum of Decision in Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety v. Freedom of Information Commission, et al. (No. CV 09 4020071S) (April 21, 2010).

                                               

             

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:

 

James Torlai

127 Barton Street

Torrington, CT 06790

 

Commissioner, State of Connecticut,

Department of Public Safety, Division of

State Police; and State of Connecticut,

Department of Public Safety, Division of

State Police

c/o Terrence M. O’Neill, Esq.

Assistant Attorney General

110 Sherman Street

Hartford, CT 06105                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

 

 

____________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

 

FIC/2009-770FD/paj/10/14/2010

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 



[1] The Report of Hearing Officer in Docket #FIC2009-325 was subsequently adopted by the FOIC on March 6, 2010.  However, the order in such matter was stayed, based upon the decision in Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety v. Freedom of Information Commission, HHB-CV-09-4020071 (N.B. Superior Court, April 21, 2010), Cohn, J. (“Commissioner”).  Commissioner was appealed by the FOIC and presently is pending in the Appellate Court.

[2] In Torlai One, copies of the DUI arrest log were provided to the complainant, with the names and addresses of the individuals arrested redacted on each page, yet in the present case, the respondents withheld such copies entirely.

 

[3] Although the respondents offered, in the present case, to provide the complainant with copies of the news releases related to the arrests that are the subject of the records at issue in this matter, the complainant declined such offer.

[4] Without explanation, the respondents submitted the identical records in camera on July 27, 2010.

[5]The Commission notes that the respondents’ reliance on the fact that fewer than 13 months had passed since the DUI charge was nolled as a basis for withholding records pertaining to such charge (see paragraph 23, above) is misplaced, in view of the fact that such charge was part of a multiple count indictment which included convictions on the other charges.