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Final Decision FIC2013-504
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Nancy Chapman,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2013-504
Chief Operating Officer,
Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc.; and
Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc.,
     Respondents
June 25, 2014

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 21, 2014, at which time the complainant appeared, presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The respondents did not appear nor did they contact the Commission regarding their failure to appear. 
     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 email dated July 14, 2013, the complainant made a request to the respondents for a list of all employees of Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc., their city of residence and their salaries for the time period of January 1, 2013 to July 14, 2013 (“the employee list”). 
     3.  It is found that, by email dated July 15, 2013, the respondents informed the complainant that her request for the employee list, described in paragraph 2, above, was forwarded to their attorneys.   
     4.  It is found that, by email dated July 17, 2013, the complainant made a request to the respondents for a copy of a “Letter from DSS Regarding OIG” referenced on the agenda for the July 24, 2013 board meeting of Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc.
     5.  It is found that, by email dated July 19, 2013, the complainant followed up with the respondents regarding the status of her July 14th request for the employee list, described in paragraph 2, above, and informed them that she would be filing a complaint with the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Commission.
     6.  It is found that, by email dated July 23, 2013, the complainant informed the respondents that she obtained a copy of the letter requested in her July 17, 2013 email, described in paragraph 4, above, from the Department of Social Services.  
     7.  By email dated August 13, 2013, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the FOI Act by failing to provide her with copies of the employee list, described in paragraph 2, above, and of the letter, described in paragraph 4, above.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainant stated that since she obtained a copy of the letter as described in paragraphs 4 and 6, above, she therefore wished to withdraw her complaint as it relates to such record.  Accordingly, it is found that the letter described in paragraphs 4 and 6, above, is no longer at issue, and therefore, shall not be further considered herein.
     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, facsimile, electronic or certified copy of any public record.”
     11. It is found that the records requested by the complainant are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
     12. It is found the respondents failed to provide the complainant with any records responsive to her request described in paragraph 2, above.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents violated the FOI Act by failing to provide the complainant with such records.
     The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
     1.  Henceforth, the respondents shall provide the complainant with the records described in paragraph 2 of the findings, above, free of charge.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 25, 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:
Nancy Chapman
81 Soundview Avenue #1
Norwalk, CT  05854
Chief Operating Officer, Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc.; and Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc.
98 South Main Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2013-504/FD/cac/6/25/2014