Final Decision FIC2014-178
In the Matter of a Complaint by
||Docket #FIC 2014-178|
Chief, Police Department,
City of Waterbury; Police
Department, City of Waterbury; and
City of Waterbury,
September 24, 2014
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 8, 2014, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts, and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The complainant, who is incarcerated, appeared via teleconference, pursuant to the January 2004 memorandum of understanding between the Commission and the Department of Correction. See Docket No. CV 03-0826293, Anthony Sinchak v. FOIC et al, Superior Court, J.D. of Hartford at Hartford, Corrected Order dated January 27, 2004 (Sheldon, J.).
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 letter of complaint filed March 31, 2014, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents denied his March 26, 2014 request for certain public records relating to his arrest.
3. It is found that, by letter mailed March 26, 2013 to the respondents, the complainant requested:
... the following documents and copies thereof involving the amount of narcotics purchase[d] during [the] control[led] [drug] buy, the amount of money used and the [serial] number(s) [of the currency used], the [confidential informant’s] name and identification number known by records to [exist], photos taken during surveillance, phone recordings of [the] incident, times and dates on or about Feb[ruary] 1, 2012 – March 1, 2012, the addresses of [the] incident. Case #2012-012679.
4. 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.
5. Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:
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, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.
6. Section 1-212(a)(1), G.S., provides in relevant part: “any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain, facsimile, electronic or certified copy of any public record.”
7. It is found that the requested records described in paragraph 3, above, to the extent that they exist, are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S.
8. It is found that the respondents delivered copies of responsive records, except for signed witness statements and the identity of confidential informants, to the Freedom of Information liaison for the Department of Correction in July 2014, and that those records were subsequently delivered to the complainant.
9. Section 1-210(b)(3), G.S., provides in relevant part that disclosure is not required of “(A) the identity of informants not otherwise known …, (C) signed statements of witnesses ….”
10. It is concluded that the signed witness statements and the identities of the confidential informants contained in the requested records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to §1-210(b)(3)(A) and (C), G.S., and that the respondents therefore did not violate the FOI Act by withholding those records.
11. It is found that the respondents do not have records of the amount of money used in the controlled drug buy, the serial numbers of the bills used in the incident, the amount of narcotics purchased, or any phone recordings or surveillance photos.
12. It is therefore found that the respondents provided all the responsive records in their custody to the complainant.
13. It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act as alleged.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The complaint is dismissed.
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:
Maurice Miller # 232296
Garner Correctional Institution
50 Nunnawauk Road
Newtown, CT 06470
Chief, Police Department, City of Waterbury; Police
Department, City of Waterbury; and City of Waterbury
Gary S. Roosa, Esq.
Waterbury Police Department
255 East Main Street
Waterbury, CT 06702
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission