TO:                  Freedom of Information Commission

 

FROM:            Mary E. Schwind

 

RE:                   Minutes of the Commission’s regular meeting of April 25, 2012

 

DATE:             April 26, 2012

 

 

A regular meeting of the Freedom of Information Commission was held on April 12, 2012, in the Freedom of Information Hearing Room, 18-20 Trinity Street, Hartford, Connecticut.  The meeting convened at 2:05 P.M., with the following Commissioners present:

                        

                         Commissioner Norma E. Riess, presiding

                         Commissioner Sherman D. London

                         Commissioner Owen P. Eagan

                         Commissioner Amy J. Livolsi

                         Commissioner Sean K. McElligott

                         Commissioner Matthew Streeter

                                   

            Also present were staff members Colleen Murphy, Clifton A. Leonhardt, Kathleen K. Ross, Victor R. Perpetua, Valicia D. Harmon, Paula S. Pearlman, Lisa Siegel, Cindy Cannata, and Mary E. Schwind.

           

           

            The Commissioners unanimously voted to accept the minutes of the Commission’s

regular meeting of April 11, 2012.  

 

 

Docket #FIC 2011-268        Daniel Henderson v. State of Connecticut, Department of Correction, Population Management, MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution; and State of Connecticut, Department of Correction

                                                                    

Daniel Henderson appeared on his own behalf and participated by speakerphone.  Attorney Nancy Kase O’Brasky appeared on behalf of the respondents.  The Commissioners unanimously adopted the Hearing Officer’s Report.   The proceedings were recorded.



Docket #FIC 2011-290        David McNichol v. Chief, Police Department, City of Waterbury; and Police Department, City of Waterbury

                                                       

David McNichol appeared on his own behalf and participated by speakerphone.  The Commissioners unanimously adopted the Hearing Officer’s Report.  The proceedings were recorded.

 

 

Docket #FIC 2011-297        Ron Robillard v. Freedom of Information Officer, State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; and State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

                                                                                

            Ron Robillard appeared on his own behalf.  Assistant Attorney General Jacqueline Hoell appeared on behalf of the respondents.   The Commissioners unanimously voted to amend the Hearing Officer’s Report.  The Commissioners again unanimously voted to amend the Hearing Officer’s Report.  The Commissioners unanimously voted to amend the Hearing Officer’s Report a third time.  The Commissioners unanimously adopted the Hearing Officer’s Report as amended.*   The proceedings were recorded.

 

 

Docket #FIC 2011-307        Susan Chapman v. Monika Thiel, Selectman, Town of New Fairfield; and Board of Selectmen, Town of New Fairfield

                                                                                            

           The Commissioners unanimously adopted the Hearing Officer’s Report.  

 

 

Docket #FIC 2011-323        Edward Foster v. Daryl K. Roberts, Chief, Police Department, City of Hartford; and Police Department, City of Hartford

                                                                    

            The Commissioners unanimously adopted the Hearing Officer’s Report.  

           

 

Docket #FIC 2011-327        Terry Wright v. Superintendent, Granby Public Schools; Board of Education, Granby Public Schools; and Granby Public Schools

                                                        

            Terry Wright appeared on his own behalf.  Attorney Anthony Shannon appeared on behalf of the respondents.  The Commissioners unanimously voted to remand the matter to the Hearing Officer.  The proceedings were recorded.

 

 

Docket #FIC 2011-335        Ann DeMatteo and the New Haven Register v. Town Attorney, Town of Hamden; and Town of Hamden

                                            

            The Commissioners unanimously adopted the Hearing Officer’s Report.

 

       

Docket #FIC 2011-422        Timothy Sullivan v. Town Attorney, Town of Hamden; and Town of Hamden

                                            

               The Commissioners unanimously adopted the Hearing Officer’s Report.  

           

Docket #FIC 2011-349        Keyin Worth v. Zoning Enforcement Officer, Town of Barkhamsted; Inland Wetlands Commission, Town of Barkhamsted; Planning and Zoning Commission, Town of Barkhamsted; and Town of Barkhamsted

                                            

            Keyin Worth appeared on her own behalf.  The Commissioners unanimously voted to amend the Hearing Officer’s Report.  The Commissioners unanimously adopted the Hearing Officer’s Report as amended and corrected.*  The proceedings were recorded.

           

 

Docket #FIC 2011-420        Arthur McNally v. Martin Overton, Chairman, Zoning Commission, Town of Woodbury; Robert Clarke, Vice Chairman, Zoning Commission, Town of Woodbury; and Zoning Commission, Town of Woodbury

                                            

            The Commissioners unanimously adopted the Hearing Officer’s Report.

           

 

Docket #FIC 2011-425        Thomas Arras v. Martin Overton, Chairman, Zoning Commission, Town of Woodbury; Catherine Adsitt, Town Planner, Town of Woodbury; and Zoning Commission, Town of Woodbury

 

           The Commissioners unanimously adopted the Hearing Officer’s Report.

           

 

          The Commissioners voted 5-0 to deny the Motion for Reconsideration dated April 4,

2012 filed by Bradshaw Smith in Bradshaw Smith v. Steven F. Mitchell, Chairman, Greater Hartford Transit District; and Greater Hartford Transit District, Docket #FIC 2011-337.  Commissioner Riess recused herself from participating in this matter. 

 

        Victor Perpetua reported on pending appeals.

 

           Paula Pearlman reported on legislation. 

 

           The meeting adjourned at 3:45 P.M.

 

 

                                    _______________________

                                    Mary E. Schwind

 

 

* SEE ATTACHED FOR AMENDMENTS and CORRECTIONS

 

 MIN/regmeeting/04252012/mes/04262012

                           

AMENDMENTS AND CORRECTIONS

 

 

Docket #FIC 2011-297        Ron Robillard v. Freedom of Information Officer, State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; and State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

 

                       

            Paragraph 19 of the Hearing Officer’s Report is amended as follows:

 

            19.   The respondents contend the remaining redactions are permitted pursuant to 1-210(b)(10), G.S., which provides that disclosure is not required of “COMMUNICATIONS PRIVILEGED BY THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.” 

 

 

            Paragraph 37 of the Hearing Officer’s Report is deleted as follows:

 

            [37.  Additionally, the respondents presumptively lacks standing to assert the privacy rights of others.  Superintendent of Police v. Freedom of Information Com.,  222 Conn. 621, 625 1992 Conn. LEXIS 206 (1992); Chairman, Bd. of Educ. v. Freedom of Info. Comm'n, 60 Conn. App. 584 (2000). ]

 

 

            Paragraph 38 of the Hearing Officer’s Report is amended as follows:

           

            [38.] 37.   Even if Gilligan’s privacy rights survived her death in 1962, [and even if the respondents had standing to assert them,] her medical records are a legitimate matter of public concern, and disclosure of them would not be highly offensive to a reasonable person.

 

 

            Paragraph 39 of the Hearing Officer’s Report is amended as follows:

 

            [39.] 38.   First, the Commission takes administrative notice of the fact Gilligan was a very public figure about whom legitimate public interest remains. The complainant asserts, without contradiction, in his September 19, 2011 written statement:

There is already an extensive official public record about Mrs. Gilligan. At the State Library, you will find a five-count indictment for murder, a hundred-page coroner’s inquest report, a 1,000-page transcript of her first trial, a hundred-page judge’s finding prepared for the Supreme Court, the state and defense appeal briefs, and a Supreme Court ruling—an an equally if not more extensive record of secondary sources in the public domain. The fact that the Library has preserved these records and made them available to the public is testament to their historic significance and their value to future researchers, two criteria laid out in statute to guide acquisitions by the State Archives.

Given the extent of the record in the public domain, there would seem to be very little we do not know about Mrs. Gilligan.

But the records I have requested, and only these records, can answer some very important questions.

What was the true nature of her disease?

Was her reported morphine addiction the result of becoming addicted to what was then a legal pain killer she used to treat the physical manifestations of an underlying disease?

Were her large purchases of arsenic for therapeutic and not criminal use?

What sort of treatments did she receive at the hospital, and are they considered effectual by today’s standards?

The functioning of our judicial system and how we care for the mentally ill are issues of legitimate public concern, even in retrospect.

 

            Paragraph 40 of the Hearing Officer’s Report is amended as follows:

           

            [40.]  39.  Second, the Commission finds that it would not be highly offensive to disclose the medical records of a notorious serial murderer who has been dead for 50 years. [The Commission additionally notes that the medical records do not contain the kind of embarrassing information that the respondents suggest in their brief, such as the result of gynecological examinations.]

 

 

            Paragraph 41 of the Hearing Officer’s Report is amended as follows:

 

            [41.]  40.  It is therefore concluded that Gilligan’s medical records are not exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-210(b)(2), G.S., and that the respondents violated the FOI Act by failing to provide such records to the complainant.

 

 


Docket #FIC 2011-349           Keyin Worth v. Zoning Enforcement Officer, Town of Barkhamsted; Inland Wetlands Commission, Town of Barkhamsted; Planning and Zoning Commission, Town of Barkhamsted; and Town of Barkhamsted

 

 

            Paragraph 16 in the Hearing Officer’s Report is amended as follows:

 

16.  With regard to the requests for records pertaining to the “swale,” it is found that the respondents do not maintain an index of records indicating the presence of “swales” on any particular property.  [In other words, in order to provide the complainant with a record responsive to her request for information on a “swale” at 309 New Hartford Road, it is found that they would have to conduct research in order to locate such record.  It is concluded that the respondents are not required to conduct research under the FOI Act.]

 

 

            Paragraph 17 in the Hearing Officer’s Report is corrected as follows:

 

17.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act [by] as alleged with regard to the requests for records pertaining to the “swale.”