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Final Decision FIC2015-236
In the Matter of a Complaint by
David Taylor,
Docket #FIC 2015-236
Chairman, State of Connecticut,
Board of Pardons and Paroles; and
State of Connecticut, Board of
Pardons and Paroles,
December 16, 2015

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 31, 2015, 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 26, 2015, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents denied his March 8, 2015 request for certain public records.
     3.  It is found that, by letter dated March 8, 3026 to the respondent Chairman, the complainant requested:
a.   A copy of the agreement between the respondent Board
      and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
      under §54-130b, G.S.;
b.   A copy of the letter, notice or similar document the Board
      issued to inmates facing deportation which contains the
      following or similar statement: “Please be advised that
      Deportation Parole is one of many options available to
      the Board of Pardons and Paroles in order to effect
      an early release from custody within the Department
      of Correction ….”; and
c.   The number of inmates deported under §54-130b, G.S., since its enactment.
     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 or certified copy of any public record. 
     7.  It is found that the requested records described in paragraphs 3.a and 3.b, above, are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S.
     8.  It is found that the respondents have on at least one prior occasion provided the agreement described in paragraph 3.a, above.  It is also found that the complainant has received three or four copies of the agreement.  It is further found that the respondents offered to provide another copy by letter dated March 30, 2015.
     9.  It is also found that the respondents, by the same March 30, 2015 letter, offered to provide copies of three letters responsive to the request described in paragraph 3.b, above.
     10. It is found that, instead of copies of the three letters, the respondents inadvertently sent the complainant three copies of another letter.
     11. It is found that the three letters were ultimately delivered to the complainant shortly before the hearing in this matter, together with another copy of the requested agreement, and a representation that there are no documents responsive to the portion of the request described in paragraph 3.c, above, because the Board has not given any commutations to aliens under §54-130b, G.S., since its enactment.

     12. The complainant maintains that there must be more than three letters responsive to the portion of the request described in paragraph 3.b., above, because he has seen at least one other such letter.
     13. It is found, however, that the respondents conducted a reasonably diligent search for the requested records.
     14. It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act as alleged.
     15. At the hearing, the complainant was permitted to question the Executive Director of the respondent Board concerning the forms of parole and sentence commutation that are or are not available to the complainant.  The Commission thanks the respondents for providing the opportunity to clarify those issues for the complainant and the hearing officer.
     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 December 16, 2015.

Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

David Taylor #272912
Osborn Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 100
Somers, CT  06071
Chairman, State of Connecticut, Board of Pardons and Paroles; and
State of Connecticut, Board of Pardons and Paroles
c/o Steven R. Strom, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
State of Connecticut,
Office of the Attorney General
Public Safety Department
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT  06105

Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission