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 FIC2012-410
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Bradshaw Smith,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2012-410
Stephen Mitchell, Chairman, Board
of Directors, Greater Hartford, Transit
District; and Greater Hartford, Transit
District,
     Respondents
May 8, 2013

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 31, 2013 at which
time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented
testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.
     The hearing was adjourned by the hearing officer when the complainant became
belligerent and would not comply with the hearing officer’s directives in her efforts to restore
order to the proceedings.
     Notwithstanding the early adjournment of the hearing, both parties were able to present
testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint, providing a more than sufficient record from
which to render a decision.
     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 §l-200(l), G.S.
     2.  By letter dated July 20, 2012, and filed on July 23, 2012, the complainant alleged that
the respondents violated §l-200(6), G.S., of the Freedom of Information ("FOI") Act by
impermissibly convening in "...executive session for the purpose of reviewing 'proposals"'.
The complainant requested, among other remedies, that the Commission impose a civil
penalty against the individually named respondent.
     3.  Section l-225, G.S., provides, in relevant part, as follows:
(a) The meetings of all public agencies, except executive
sessions, as defined in subdivision (6) of section l-200,
shall be open to the public.

...
(f) A public agency may hold an executive session as
defined in subdivision (6) of section l-200, upon an
affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of such
body present and voting, taken at a public meeting and
stating the reasons for such executive session, as
defined in section l-200.
     4.  Section 1-200(6), G.S., provides in relevant part as follows:
"Executive sessions" means a meeting of a public agency at
which the public is excluded for one or more of the
following purposes: …(E) discussion of any matter which
would result in the disclosure of public records or the
information contained therein described in subsection (b) of
section l-210.
     5.  Section l-210(b)(24), G.S., provides that nothing in the FOI Act shall be construed to
require the disclosure of :
Responses to any request for proposal or bid solicitation
issued by a public agency or any record or file made by a
public agency in connection with the contract award
process, until such contract is executed or negotiations for
the award of such contract have ended, whichever occurs
earlier, provided the chief executive officer of such public
agency certifies that the public interest in the disclosure of
such responses, record or file is outweighed by the public
interest in the confidentiality of such responses, record or
file.
     6.  It is found that the respondents issued a request for proposals ("MP") on March 28,
2012 for legal services from one or more law firms.
     7.  It is found that the respondents received responses to its RFP from several law firms.
     8.  It is found that on May 6, 2012, the executive director of the respondent district and
the chairman of the respondent board certified that "the public interest in the disclosure of the
responses, record or file is outweighed by the public interest in confidentiality of the responses,
record and file" as required by §1-210(b)(24), G.S.
     9.  It is found that the respondents properly noticed and held a regular meeting on June
21, 2012, the agenda for which provided in relevant part as followings:
6. Consideration of Responses to a Request for Proposals
for Legal Services.
     10. It is found that the respondents properly moved and voted to convene in executive
session pursuant to §l-225(f), G.S., and that they discussed "consideration of responses to
request for proposals for legal services."
     11. It is found that at the conclusion of the executive session, the respondents
reconvened in open session and voted regarding the RFP responses.
     12. Based on the findings, above, it is concluded that the respondents properly convened
in executive session for a permissible purpose and did not violate the FOI Act as alleged by
the complainant.
     13. Consequently, the complainant's request for remedies, including his request for the
imposition of a civil penalty, is denied.
     The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the
record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
      l. The complaint is hereby dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 8, 2013.
__________________________
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:
Bradshaw Smith
23 Ludlow Road
Windsor, CT  06095
Stephen Mitchell, Chairman, Board of Directors,
Greater Hartford, Transit District; and Greater
Hartford, Transit District
c/o Adam M. Kasowitz, Esq.
Day Pitney, LLP
242 Trumbull Street
Hartford, CT  06103
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC/2012-410/FD/cac/5/8/2013