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Final Decision FIC2014-101
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Vincent Aiello,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2014-101
Board of Finance, Town of Morris;
and Town of Morris,
     Respondents
September 24, 2014

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 15, 2014, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. 
     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 email dated and filed February 19, 2014, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act in the following way:   by holding a regular meeting at the Morris Town Hall on February 12, 2014, a state holiday. 
     3.  Section 1-225(a), G.S., provides, in relevant, part:  “The meetings of all public agencies. . . shall be open to the public.”
     4.  Section 1-200(2), G.S., provides, in relevant, part: 
“Meeting” means any hearing or other proceeding of a public agency, any convening or assembly of a quorum of a multimember public agency, and any communication by or to a quorum of a multimember public agency, whether in person or by means of electronic equipment, to discuss or act upon a matter over which the public agency has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power. . . .
     5.  Section 1-230, G.S., provides, in relevant, part that, “. . . [i]f at any time any regular meeting falls on a holiday, such regular meeting shall be held on the next business day.”

     6.  It is found that February 12, 2014 fell on a state holiday known as Lincoln’s birthday.
     7.  It is found that the respondent Board of Finance held a regular meeting on February 12, 2014.
     8.  It is found that, while the complainant attended the respondent’s regular meeting on February 12, 2014, he tried to bring the issue of whether a regular meeting should be taking place on a holiday to the attention of the respondent board’s chairman.
     9.  At the contested case hearing, the respondents readily admitted that they made a mistake with regard to holding a regular meeting on a holiday, and they indicated that, going forward, they would be mindful not to do so again.
     10. It is found that the respondents added many of the matters which had been voted upon at the February 12, 2014 meeting to their February 26, 2014 regular meeting agenda, and voted upon such matters again.
     11. Based on the foregoing, it is concluded that the respondents violated the provisions of §1-230, G.S., as alleged in the complaint. 
     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 strictly comply with the provisions of §1-230, G.S.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 24, 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:
Vincent Aiello
c/o Leonard Caine, Esq.
Caine & Caine Attorneys-at-Law
38 Central Avenue
Waterbury, CT  06702
Board of Finance, Town of Morris;
and Town of Morris
3 East Street
Morris, CT  06763
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2014-101/FD/cac/9/24/2014