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Final Decision FIC2015-319
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Gregory Tarone,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2015-319
Director, Office of Student Financial Aid
Services; Director, Division of Athletics,
State of Connecticut, University of
Connecticut; and State of Connecticut,
University of Connecticut,
     Respondents
April 13, 2016

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 15, 2015, 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 letter of complaint filed May 7, 2015, 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 certain public records. 
     3.  It is found that the complainant first made a March 24, 2015 request to the University of Connecticut Student Financial Aid Services to inspect or obtain copies of records reflecting (a) the number of athletic scholarships awarded in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015; (b) the number of multi-year grants awarded, identified by gender and sport, in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015; and (c) the number of year-to-year grants awarded, identified by gender and sport, in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
     4.  It is found that the complainant also made a March 24, 2015 request to the University of Connecticut Office of the Athletic Director to inspect or obtain copies of the rules governing player conduct for the men’s basketball team (the “team rules”).
     5.  It is found that the complainant’s March 24, 2015 requests were forwarded on or about April 6, 2015 to Elizabeth Vitullo at the University of Connecticut Office of Audit, Compliance and Ethics, who provided a link to the student handbook containing rules governing conduct by student athletes on April 6, 2015, and acknowledged the remaining requests on April 10, 2015.
     6.  It is found that the complainant renewed his requests concerning athletic scholarships and team rules by email dated April 10, 2015.
     7.  It is found that Ms. Vitullo obtained the information concerning athletic scholarships sometime in April 2015, and provided records on May 11, 2015, satisfying that portion of the complainant’s requests.
     8.  It is also found that Ms. Vitullo ascertained that there are no written men’s basketball team rules, other than the rules contained in the student handbook.
     9.  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.
     10.  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. 
     11.  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.”
     12.  It is concluded that the requested records are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
     13.  It is found that the respondents promptly provided all the records responsive to the complainant’s requests.
     14.  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 April 13, 2016.
__________________________
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:
Gregory Tarone
5020 Route 9W #104
Newburgh, NY  12550
Director, Office of Student Financial Aid Services;
Director, Division of Athletics, State of Connecticut,
University of Connecticut; and State of Connecticut,
University of Connecticut
c/o Holly J. Bray, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
State of Connecticut,
Office of the Attorney General
343 Mansfield Road
Storrs, CT  06269-1177
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC/2015-319/FD/cac/4/13/2016