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Final Decision FIC2013-378
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Richard Swan,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2013-378
Elsa Payne, Chairman, Water Pollution
Control Authority, Town of Old Saybrook;
and Water Pollution Control Authority,
Town of Old Saybrook,
     Respondents
April 23, 2014

     The above-captioned matter was consolidated for hearing with Docket #FIC 2013-392; Richard Swan v. Chairman, Water Pollution Control Authority, Town of Old Saybrook; and Water Pollution Control Authority, Town of Old Saybrook.
Both matters were heard as contested cases on December 2, 2013 and January 27, 2014, at which times the complainant and the respondents appeared, presenting testimony and argument on the complaint.
     By letters dated March 25 and May 23, 2013, the complainant, based on twenty numbered items, requested an extensive array of records concerning a septic system improvement project that seemed likely to result in an assessment for the complainant substantially in excess of original estimates.  By the date of the first hearing, the respondents had repeatedly met and corresponded in considerable detail with the complainant, as summarized in the January 13, 2014 affidavit of Melissa S. Lewis, on file as Respondents’ Exhibit C.  Notwithstanding the very limited administrative staff of the respondent Authority, the respondents had also provided a substantial quantity of records to the complainant, as reflected in Respondents’ Exhibit B (held in a large ring, loose leaf binder).
     The December 2, 2013 hearing provided the complainant an opportunity to cross examine the respondents’ witness concerning records not yet produced. Between hearings, the parties met again to continue working cooperatively concerning questions regarding the existence, identification and search for certain records, including some records beyond the scope of the original requests.  The hearing officer also reviewed in camera records withheld from the complainant and confirmed the respondents’ contention that the in camera records were exempt from mandatory disclosure pursuant to the attorney-client privilege.
By the January 27, 2014 hearing, the only remaining contested matter between the parties was the issue of public records on the personal computer of Eugene Evangelisti, who by the first hearing date had left the employment of the respondent Authority.  The parties agreed that the First Selectman, Town of Old Saybrook, would write Mr. Evangelisti and request that he provide relevant emails to the respondents for production to the complainant.  By email dated and filed with the Commission on February 21, 2014, the complainant stated that he received thirteen additional emails as a result of this process.  Upon also receiving the written statement of Mr. Evangelisti that he believed that the complainant had all relevant emails from his personal computer, the complainant, by email dated and filed with the Commission on February 25, 2014, requested that his complaint in the above captioned matter be withdrawn.
     The following orders by the Commission are hereby recommended on the basis of the record:
1. Based on the withdrawal of the complaint, the case is hereby dismissed.
2. The Commission commends both the complainant and the respondents on having worked cooperatively through the far flung records requests in this case in a manner that provided public records to the complainant much more quickly than would have resulted from relying exclusively on contested adjudication.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 23, 2014.

__________________________
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:
Richard Swan
3 South View Circle
Old Saybrook, CT  06475
Elsa Payne, Chairman, Water Pollution
Control Authority, Town of Old Saybrook;
and Water Pollution Control Authority,
Town of Old Saybrook,
c/o Henry J. Zaccardi, Esq.
Shipman & Goodwin LLP
One Constitution Plaza
Hartford, CT  06103

____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2013-378/FD/cac/4/23/2014