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Final Decision FIC2011-656
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Vernon Horn,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2011-656
Director of Security, State of Connecticut,
Department of Correction; and State of
Connecticut, Department of Correction,
     Respondents
July 11, 2012

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 25, 2012, at which time the complainant and the 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, 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.  It is found that, by letter dated November 13, 2011, the complainant made a request to the respondents for copies of “all documentation regarding investigation (SD 11-49) conducted at Corrigan-Radgowski CC.”
     3.  It is found that, by letter dated November 22, 2011, the respondents informed the complainant that the requested records, pertaining to Security Division Investigation SD 11-49, are exempt from disclosure, based on safety and security concerns, pursuant to Public Act 99-156, sections 2 and 18.
     4.  By letter of complaint dated November 29, 2011, and filed December 6, 2011, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to comply with the request described in paragraph 2, above.
     5.  At the hearing in this matter, the respondents claimed the requested records, described in paragraphs 2 and 3, above, are exempt from disclosure pursuant to §18-101f, G.S.
     6.  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 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.
     7.  Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
          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 . . . (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with 1-212.
     8.  Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that “[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain, facsimile, electronic or certified copy of any public record.”
     9.  It is found that the records described in paragraphs 2 and 3, above, are public records. 
     10.  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…including, but not limited to, a record of a security investigation of such employee by the department…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….(Emphasis added).
     11.  It is found that the requested records pertain to an investigation into allegations of corruption involving several Department of Correction (DOC) employees.  It is found that such investigation was conducted by the DOC’s security division and that the records thereof are records of a “security investigation,” within the meaning of the statute.  It is further found that the complainant is an individual committed to the custody of the Commissioner of Correction.
     12.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the records, described in paragraphs 2 and 3, above, are exempt from disclosure pursuant to §18-101f, G.S.
     13.  Based upon the foregoing, it is unnecessary for the Commission to consider the respondents’ additional claim of exemption, noted in paragraph 3, above, which, presumably, was intended as a reference to §1-210(b)(18), G.S.1

1
Although Public Act 99-156, cited by the respondents, added section (18), to §1-210(b), G.S., and §1-210(c), G.S. the references by the respondents to the sections of the public act are incorrect.
     14.  Thus, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act as alleged in the complaint.
    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 July 11, 2012.
_________________________
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:
Vernon Horn #260554
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution
1153 East Street South
Suffield, CT  06080
Director of Security, State of Connecticut,
Department of Correction; and State of
Connecticut, Department of Correction
c/o James E. Neil, Esq.
State of Connecticut,
Department of Correction
24 Wolcott Hill Road
Wethersfield, CT  06109
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2011-656//FD/cac/7/11/2012