FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

Cherlyn Poindexter and Local 3144,

New Haven Management and

Professional Union,

 
  Complainants  
  against   Docket #FIC 2010-390

Civil Service Commission,

City of New Haven; and Personnel

Director, City of New Haven,

 
  Respondents May 11, 2011
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 3, 2011 at which time the complainants and the respondents appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  This matter was consolidated for hearing with Docket #FIC2010-432, Cherlyn Poindexter and Local 3144, New Haven Management and Professional Union v. Director, Department of Human Resources, City of New Haven; and City of New Haven.  At the start of the hearing, the respondents moved to dismiss the complaint as untimely.  After argument from the parties, the hearing officer denied the motion to dismiss.

 

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.  By letter dated and filed June 22, 2010, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to “complete and disseminate” the minutes of the respondent Civil Service Commission’s (“CSC”) meetings held from August 2009 through December 2009 and January 2010 through April 2010. 

 

3.  Section 1-225(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part, that:

 

Not later than seven days after the date of the session to which such minutes refer, such minutes shall be available for public inspection and posted on such public agency’s Internet web site, if available, except that no public agency of a political subdivision of the state shall be required to post such minutes on an Internet website.[1]  Each public agency shall make, keep and maintain a record of the proceedings of its meetings.

 

4.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainant testified that she was not able to inspect the minutes in person, or on the CSC’s website, because the minutes had not been prepared, filed and/or posted on the website.

 

5.  At the hearing in this matter, the respondents conceded that they failed to timely prepare and file the minutes of the CSC’s meetings at issue. 

 

6.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondents violated 1-225(a), G.S., as alleged in the complaint. 

 

7.  However, the respondents argued, at the hearing in this matter, that they were not obligated to post the minutes of the CSC’s meetings on their website, and that therefore, there was no violation in this regard. 

 

8.  The Commission disagrees.  Public Act 10-171 amended 1-225, G.S., to eliminate the requirement that certain public agencies, which would include the CSC, post their meeting minutes on their websites.  However, Public Act 10-171 did not take effect until October 1, 2010, well after the date that the requested minutes would have been required to be posted on the CSC’s website, had the respondents complied with the requirements of 1-225(a), G.S., as it existed at the time of request to inspect at issue in this matter.

 

9.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondents violated 1-225(a), G.S., when they failed to timely post the requested minutes on their website. 

 

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

 

            1.  Henceforth, the respondent shall strictly comply with the requirements of 1-225(a), G.S.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 11, 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:

 

Cherlyn Poindexter and Local 3144, New Haven

Management and Professional Union

P.O. Box 1748

New Haven, CT  06507

 

Civil Service Commission, City of New Haven; and

Personnel Director, City of New Haven

c/o Kathleen Foster, Esq.

Office of the Corporation Counsel

165 Church Street

New Haven, CT  06510

 

 

 

____________________________

Cynthia A. Cannata

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

 

FIC/2010-390/FD/cac/5/16/2011

 

                                                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] The underlined portion of the statute, added by Public act 10-171, became effective on October 1, 2010.  See paragraph 7, above.