Final Decision FIC2014-407
In the Matter of a Complaint by
||Docket #FIC 2014-407|
Chief, Police Department, Town of
Clinton; Board of Police Commissioners,
Town of Clinton; Police Department,
Town of Clinton; and Town of Clinton,
April 8, 2015
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 29, 2015, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The matter was consolidated for hearing with Docket #FIC 2014-414; Seth Wolfe v. Chief, Police Department, Town of Clinton; Police Department, Town of Clinton; and Town of Clinton.
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 on May 30, 2014, the complainant requested a copy of the following records:
a. Invoices [for] Clinton police issued handgun given to Jim DePietro. Invoice should include serial number, make and model;
b. Invoice for state approved storage container provided to Jim DePietro for his Clinton police issued handgun;
c. Invoice for all ammunition provided to Jim DePietro by the Clinton police department for his issued handgun. Invoice must state the name and type of ammunition provided to him;
d. Invoices for any other weapons or firearms provided to Jim DePietro by the Clinton police department; and
e. Invoice for yellow reflective jacket provided to Jim DePietro by the Clinton police department for active duty.
3. It is found that on May 30, 2014, the respondents informed the complainant that they do not maintain any records responsive to his request. It is found that the respondents told the complainant that “such items as firearms, ammunition, vests and equipment are not purchased on a per unit basis or by specific designation to a specific officer.”
4. By letter filed June 27, 2014, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to promptly provide him with the records he requested.
5. 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, …whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.
6. 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, … or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.
7. 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.”
8. It is concluded 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.
9. It is found that in January 2015, the respondents produced for the complainant an invoice that they received when they replaced their old pistols with new SigSauer weapons. It is found that the respondents purchased 30 weapons as a group that were then issued to each officer. It is found that the respondents never had an invoice for the particular handgun provided to an individual officer.
10. It is found that a storage container was provided to each officer along with the weapon. It is found that the respondents never had an invoice for the particular storage container provided to each individual officer; similarly, it is found that the respondents never maintained an invoice for the particular ammunition provided to Officer DePietro, because they purchased the ammunition in bulk, too.
11. With respect to the reflective jackets, it is found that the respondents also informed the complainant in January 2015 that Officer DePietro would have been issued a jacket in 2006, but the invoice for its purchase nine years ago could not be located.
12. It is 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 April 8, 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:
144 East Main Street
Clinton, CT 06413
Chief, Police Department, Town of Clinton; Board of Police
Commissioners, Town of Clinton; Police Department,
Town of Clinton; and Town of Clinton
c/o John S. Bennet, Esq.
Gould, Larson, Bennet, Wells & McDonnell
P.O. Box 959
Essex, CT 06426
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission