FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Craig Wilson,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2010-357

Chief, Police Department,

City of Bridgeport; and

Police Department,

City of Bridgeport,

 
  Respondents May 25, 2011
       

           

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 9, 2011 at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The matter had been first heard on July 26, 2010, at which time the respondents had failed to appear, and a proposed decision had subsequently recommended, on the basis of that failure to appear, that the complaint be sustained. The matter was then remanded by agreement to the hearing officer to give the respondents a second opportunity to be heard. The complainant, who is incarcerated, appeared via teleconference, pursuant to the January 2004 memorandum of understanding between the Commission and the Department of Correction.  See  Docket No. CV 03-0826293, Anthony Sinchak v. FOIC et al, Superior Court, J.D. of Hartford at Hartford,  Corrected Order dated January 27, 2004 (Sheldon, J.). 

 

            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.  By letter of complaint postmarked June 4, 2010 and filed June 7, 2010, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents failed to respond to his May 3, 2010 request for public records.

 

            3.  It is found that the respondents failed to respond to the request.

 

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 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 . . . or (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 “[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.”

 

7.  It is found that the requested records are public records and must be disclosed in accordance with 1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., unless they are exempt from disclosure. 

 

8.  At the hearing, the parties agreed that, other than the provision of the records described in paragraph 10, below, the only matters that needed to be resolved were:

 

a.                Whether a certain log requested by the complainant that would show the sign-out of a body microphone used during the complainant’s arrest now existed or had ever existed; 

b.               Whether a certain log requested by the complainant that would show the withdrawal of cash for use in an undercover drug purchase from the complainant now existed or had ever existed; and

c.                Whether records of internal investigations conducted against the officers involved in the complainant’s arrest now existed or had ever existed.

 

9. It is found that the requested records described in paragraph 8, above, do not exist, and never have existed.

 

10. At the hearing, the respondents pledged to provide the remaining requested records to the complainant, which records comprise Exhibit 1 in the record of this case. The respondents had not before this time provided these records to the complainant.

 

11.  It is concluded that the respondents violated 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., by failing to provide any of the requested records promptly.

 

 

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 all of the records contained in Exhibit 1 of this case, if they have not already done so.

 

2.  The respondents shall henceforth strictly comply with the promptness requirements contained in 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 25, 2011.

 

 

 

___________________________

S. Wilson

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:

 

Craig Wilson #158434 

MacDougall-Walker C I

1153 East Street South

Suffield, CT 06080

 

Chief, Police Department,

City of Bridgeport; and

Police Department,

City of Bridgeport

C/o Edmund F. Schmidt, Esq. and

Richard G. Kascak, Jr., Esq.

Office of the City Attorney

999 Broad Street

Bridgeport, CT 06604

 

 

___________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

FIC/2010-357FD/sw/6/1/2011