FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|against||Docket #FIC 2010-156|
Chief, Police Department, City of
Hartford; Police Department, City of
Hartford; and City of Hartford,
|Respondents||January 28, 2011|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 31, 2010, at which time the complainant and the 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 #FIC 2010-153; Kenneth Krayeske v. Mayor, City of Hartford; and City of Hartford; and Docket #FIC 2010-200; Kenneth Krayeske v. Chief, Police Department, City of Hartford; Police Department, City of Hartford; and City of Hartford. 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 on February 22, 2010, the complainant made a written request to the respondent chief of police for four categories of records:
a. Training manuals for the setting of bond for persons in the custody of the Hartford Police Department;
b. Training manuals concerning the protection of Constitutional rights of persons during their interactions with police officers;
c. All press releases issued by the Hartford Police Department from January 1, 2006 through the present; and
d. All communications between the Hartford Police Department and the Office of Mayor Eddie Perez concerning the complainant from December 1, 2006 through the present.
3. By letter filed on March 8, 2010, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to respond to his request, described in paragraph 2, above.
4. Section 1-200(5), G.S., in relevant part, defines “public records” as follows:
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…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 inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours or to receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212.
6. Section 1-212 (a), G.S., provides in relevant part: “Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.”
7. It is concluded that the records requested by the complainant are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a), and 1-212(a), G.S.
8. With respect to the complainant’s request for records described in paragraph 2.a and b, above, it is found that the respondents provided copies of records in April 2010 and August 2010.
9. With respect to the complainant’s request for press releases by the chief of police, described in paragraph 2.c, above, it is found that such records exist, but the respondents have failed to provide any copies to the complainant.
10. With respect to the complainant’s request for records of communication between the chief and the mayor concerning the complainant, described in paragraph 2.d, above, it is found that the respondents provided copies of e-mails that are not responsive to the complainant’s request. It is found that instead of providing e-mails between the police department and the office of the mayor concerning the complainant, the respondents provided e-mails sent within the office of the mayor or sent by the complainant to the mayor’s press office.
11. It is found that the respondents provided no evidence that they conducted a diligent search for e-mails between the office of the mayor and the police department.
12. It is concluded that the respondents violated the FOI Act by failing to provide copies of the press releases issued by the chief of police, and by failing to conduct a diligent search for e-mails between the police department and the mayor’s office.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. Forthwith, the respondents shall provide copies of the press releases described in paragraph 2.c of the findings of fact. In addition, the respondents shall conduct a diligent search for copies of records of communications between the chief and the mayor concerning the complainant, described in paragraph 2.d of the findings of fact. The respondents shall provide copies of such records of communications, if any, to the complainant, free of charge, and shall provide an affidavit describing the search, including the files searched and the search terms used for searching electronic files.
2. Henceforth, the respondents shall strictly comply with the requirements of §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of January 28, 2011.
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:
Brown & Welsh, P.C.
530 Preston Avenue
P.O. Box 183
Meriden, CT 06450
Chief, Police Department, City of Hartford; Police Department, City of Hartford; and City of Hartford
c/o Lori Mizerak, Esq. and Nathalie Feola-Guerrieri, Esq.
Office of the Corporation Counsel
550 Main Street, Room 303
Hartford, CT 06103
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission