FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Kathleen Mahoney,       
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2010-712
Captain Leon Krolikowski,
Police Department,
Town of New Canaan; and
Police Department,
Town of New Canaan,
 
  Respondents August 10, 2011
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 6, 2011, at which time the complainant and respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The case caption has been amended to eliminate the Chief of Police for the Town of New Canaan as a respondent upon agreement of the parties because the complainant’s records request was forwarded to Captain Leon Krolikowski, and the complaint filed with the Commission did not reference the Chief of Police.

 

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 September 19, 2010 (“September 19th request”), the complainant made a request to the respondents for “the information that was given to New York police in regards to [the] law enforcement complaint I filed.”  It is found that such complaint was filed with the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) containing allegations of police misconduct.

3.      It is found that, by letter dated October 19, 2010, the respondent Captain Leon Krolikowski, in response to the complainant’s September 19th request, described in paragraph 2 above, informed the complainant that the NYPD internal affairs investigators were provided with copies of all incident reports that involved the complainant and/or her late husband, which the respondents had previously provided to the complainant.  It is also found that Captain Krolikowski advised the complainant that she should contact the respondents’ records clerk if she wanted another set of such records.    

4.      By letter dated November 8, 2010, and filed on November 12, 2010, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information ("FOI”) Act by failing to provide her with copies of the records described in paragraph 2, above. 

5.      The respondents contend that the Commission lacks subject matter jurisdiction in this matter since the complaint was not timely filed.

6.      Section 1-206, G.S., provides, in pertinent part that:

(b)(1)  Any person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-210 or wrongfully denied the right to attend any meeting of a public agency or denied any other right conferred by the Freedom of Information Act may appeal therefrom to the Freedom of Information Commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said commission.  A notice of appeal shall be filed not later than thirty days after such denial….

 

7.      It is found that the notice of appeal in this matter was filed within thirty days after the October 19, 2010, alleged denial of the request described in paragraph 2, above, within the meaning of 1-206, G.S.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the Commission has subject matter jurisdiction in this matter.

 

8.      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.

 

9.      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 . . . (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.

 

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

11.  It is found that the records requested by the complainant, to the extent that they exist, are public records within the meaning of 1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.

12.  At the hearing, the respondent Captain Krolikowski contended that the respondents have previously provided the complainant with copies of the same incident reports that he forwarded to the NYPD, as described in paragraph 3, above, which are responsive to the complainant’s September 19th request, and that he again offered those records to her on October 19, 2010.

13.  It is found that in July 2010, Captain Krolikowski met with two investigators from the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau.  It is found that subsequent to such meeting, by letter dated July 9, 2010, Captain Krolikowski forwarded to the NYPD Manhattan Patrol Borough, North Investigations Unit, copies of all incident reports relating to the complainant and/or her late husband, which the New Canaan Police Department had on file. 

14.  The complainant acknowledges that the respondents have previously provided her with copies of the incident reports described in paragraph 3, above, and that such reports were forwarded to the NYPD, as described in paragraph 13, above.  The complainant believes, however, that there are additional records that should have been forwarded to the NYPD, which the respondents should have had in their possession, including records that the complainant herself submitted to the respondents.

 

15.  It is found that the crux of the complainant’s complaint is not an alleged failure by the respondents to provide her with records, but rather an alleged failure by the respondents to provide the NYPD with records other than the incident reports described in paragraph 3, above.    

16.  It is found that the respondents provided the complainant with copies of all the records that they forwarded to the NYPD regarding the law enforcement complaint that the complainant filed with the NYPD, described in paragraph 2, above.

17.  It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the disclosure provisions of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., in this matter. 

 

 

            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 August 10, 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:

 

Kathleen Mahoney   

15 East Putnam Avenue

Greenwich, CT 06830

 

Captain Leon Krolikowski,

Police Department,

Town of New Canaan; and

Police Department,

Town of New Canaan

C/o Christopher J. Jarobe, Esq.

Lovejoy & Rimer, P.C.

65 East Avenue

P.O. Box 390

Norwalk, CT 06852

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2010-712FD/sw/8/182011