As of September 5, 2022, Freedom of Information Commission meetings and contested case hearings will resume being conducted in person. All parties and witnesses must appear in person for their contested case hearings and Commission meetings. Please access this link or contact the Commission for further information.

Final Decision FIC2013-499
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Edward Peruta,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2013-499
Reuben Bradford, Commissioner,
State of Connecticut, Department
of Emergency Services and Public
Protection, Division of State Police;
and State of Connecticut,
Department of Emergency Services
and Public Protection, Division of State
Police,
     Respondents
June 11, 2014

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 5, 2014, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  For purposes of hearing, the above-captioned matter was consolidated with Docket #FIC2013-463, Edward Peruta v. Reuben Bradford, Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection; and State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection; and Docket #FIC2013-495, Edward Peruta v. Reuben Bradford, Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of State Police; Paul Mounts, Supervisor, State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of State Police; and State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of State 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.  By e-mail dated August 13, 2013, the complainant appealed to this Commission alleging that the respondents violated §§1-210(a), and 1-212(a), G.S., of the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide him prompt access to inspect certain records.  The complainant requested that the maximum civil penalty be imposed against the respondents.
     3.  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.
     4.  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 . . . Any agency rule or regulation, or part thereof, that conflicts with the provisions of this subsection or diminishes or curtails in any way the rights granted by this subsection shall be void.
     5.  It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), and 1-210(a), G.S.
     6.  It is found that on or about June 14, 2013, a request was made, by a third party, to the respondents for “any list, database, or record of correspondence in written or electronic format (including e-mail) that shows [to whom] the May 28, 2013 letter from Paul M. Mounts regarding the secure e-mail program for returned criminal history checks was sent.”  
     7.  It is found that the requested records are maintained only in paper form in a log book and are not available in electronic format. 
     8.  It is found that the complainant, aware of the request described in paragraph 6, above, arrived at the respondents’ office on August 13, 2013, during regular office hours and requested to inspect the same records.
     9.  It is found that the complainant was meet by Attorney Plourde, a member of the respondent department’s legal unit, who asked if he had made an appointment.  It is found that while the complainant had made several attempts to make an appointment, he did not have one on that day. 
     10. After speaking with Attorney Plourde, the complainant waited in the lobby for approximately 30 minutes and then left.
     11. It is found, however, that Attorney Plourde left the complainant in the lobby to find a room in which to allow him to inspect the records, but when she returned to escort him to the room, she learned that he had left. 
     12. It is found that it is unclear from the record whether the complainant was unaware that the respondents were in the process of complying with his request to inspect the records or if he simply became impatient with waiting.
     13. Nonetheless, it is found that the respondents were attempting to comply with the complainant’s request and did not deny him access to inspect the requested records. (It is also found that the question about the complainant having an appointment is immaterial under the facts and circumstances of this case.)
     14. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act as alleged by the complainant. 
     15. The complainant’s request for a civil penalty against the respondents will not be considered.
     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 June 11, 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:
Edward Peruta
c/o Rachel Baird, Esq.
8 Church Street
Torrington, CT  06790
Reuben Bradford, Commissioner, State of Connecticut,
Department of Emergency Services and Public
Protection, Division of State Police; and State
of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services
and Public Protection, Division of State Police
c/o Terrence M. O’Neill, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
State of Connecticut,
Office of the Attorney General
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT  06105
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2013-499/FD/cac/6/11/2014