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 FIC2014-323
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Timothy Townsend,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2014-323
Commissioner, State of Connecticut,
Department of Correction; and State of
Connecticut, Department of Correction,
     Respondents
March 25, 2015

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 18, 2014, at which time the complainant and respondents appeared 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 May 23, 2014, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to comply with his requests for copies of certain public records.
     3.  It is found that the complainant made an April 25, 2014 request to the respondents “to know at what correctional facility did Capt. Bryan Viger work before he was assigned to the Cheshire correctional facility.  Please provide the dates spent at each facility.”
     4.  It is found that the complainant made an April 30, 2014 request to the respondents for “a copy of Captain Bryan Viger’s signed acknowledgment stating that he read and understood Cheshire’s Unit directives when he was transferred there.”
     5.  It is found that the complainant made a May 1, 2014 request to the respondents for a copy of “all corresponding Unit Directives to Administrative Directive 6.10 including all Unit forms and attachments.  I would also like the Unit Directives corresponding to Administrative Directive 9.6, including all Unit forms and attachments used locally.  I would like each Unit Directive above to be the one in effect in 2009, including local forms and attachments.”
     6.  It is found that the complainant made a second May 1, 2014 request to the respondents for a copy of “the following Administrative Directives in effect in 2009: A.D. 1.3; A.D. 1.2; A.D. 9.6; A.D. 8.3; A.D. 6.7; and [A.D.] 6.10.”
     7.  Section 1-200(5), G.S., defines “public records” as follows:
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, …whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.
     8.  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 … receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212.
     9.  Section 1-212(a), 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.”
     10. The respondents maintain that the request described in paragraph 3, above, for Captain Viger’s work assignments is not a request for public records, but a request to have the complainant’s questions answered.
     11. It is found, however, that the complainant’s request may reasonably be understood as a request for copies of public records that reflect Captain Viger’s work assignments.
     12. It is concluded that the records requested by the complainant in paragraph 3, above, regarding the work assignments of Captain Viger, and also the records described in paragraph 6, above, regarding certain Administrative Directives, are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a), and 1-212(a), G.S.
     13. Section 18-101f, G.S., provides in relevant part:
A personnel or medical file or similar file concerning a current or former employee of the … Department of Correction … shall not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, as defined in section 1-200, to any individual committed to the custody or supervision of the Commissioner of Correction
     14. The Commission takes administrative notice of the fact that records of Captain Viger’s work assignments would be contained in his personnel file.
     15. It is found that Captain Viger is a current or former employee of the Department of Correction.
     16. It is found that the complainant is an individual committed to the custody or supervision of the Commissioner of Correction.
     17. It is therefore concluded that §18-101f, G.S., bars disclosure of the requested records of work assignments to the complainant.
     18. Even if Captain Viger’s work assignments were only in a file that was not a personnel or medical or similar file, §1-210(b)(18)(H), G.S., provides that disclosure is not required of “[l]ogs or other documents that contain information on the … assignment of … staff at correctional institutions.”
     19. It is found that Captain Viger’s work assignments contain information on the assignment of staff at correctional institutions.
     20. It is therefore concluded that Captain Viger’s work assignments are also exempt from disclosure pursuant to §1-210(b)(18)(H), G.S.
     21. With respect to the complainant’s April 30, 2014 request for Captain Viger’s signed acknowledgement, as described in paragraph 4, above, it is found that that record does not exist.
     22. With respect to the complainant’s first May 1, 2014 request, as described in paragraph 5, above, for certain unit directives, forms and attachments corresponding to certain Administrative Directives, it is found that those records do not exist.
     23. With respect to the complainant’s second May 1, 2014 request, as described in paragraph 6, above, for certain Administrative Directives, it is found that the respondents provided those records to the complainant.
     24. It is concluded, therefore, 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 March 25, 2015.
__________________________
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:
Timothy Townsend # 243804
Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center
986 Norwich-New London Tpke.
Uncasville, CT  06382
Commissioner, State of Connecticut,
Department of Correction; and State of
Connecticut, Department of Correction
c/o James Neil, Esq.
24 Wolcott Hill Road
Wethersfield, CT  06109
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2014-323/FD/cac/3/25/2015