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Final Decision FIC2012-603
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Carl Liano,
     Complainant
against
Docket #FIC 2012-603
Richard Weiner, Benefits Manager,
City of Bridgeport; and City of Bridgeport,
     Respondents
June 12, 2013

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 3 and April 29, 2013, at which times the complainant and the respondents appeared 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)(A), G.S.
     2.  It is found that, by letter dated January 9, 2012, the complainant requested the names of all Bridgeport Police Department and Fire Department members and their dependents, where the member was age sixty-five or older and continued medical insurance that they received while employed and did not file for Medicare part B. The complainant asked that the members be identified as having been a member of the Police Department or the Fire Department and asked the year of retirement for each member.
     3.  It is found that, by letter dated January 20, 2012, the respondents acknowledged the complainant’s request. On April 27, 2012, the complainant renewed his request, which the respondents acknowledged by letter dated April 30, 2012. By letter dated October 12, 2012, the complainant again renewed his request. 
     4.  By letter dated October 19, 2012 and filed with the Freedom of Information Commission (the “Commission”) on October 22, 2012, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents failed to provide the requested records in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. The complainant also requested the imposition of civil penalties on the respondent Benefits Manager and Margo Litz of the Office of the Bridgeport City Attorney.
     5.  Sections 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., state, respectively, in relevant parts:
          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. 
          …
          Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.

     6.  It is concluded that the requested records are “public records” within the meaning of §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
     7.  It is found that, after the hearing on April 3, 2013, a list with numbers, but not names, was initially provided to the complainant. At the continued hearing on April 29, 2013, the respondents provided the records requested in paragraph 2, above, to the complainant. The continued hearing on April 29, 2013 was almost sixteen months after the request on January 9, 2012.
     8.  It is concluded that the respondents failed to provide the records “promptly” in violation of §1-212(a), G.S. See Advisory Opinion #51, In the Matter of a Request for Declaratory Ruling, Third Taxing District of the City of Norwalk, Applicant (Notice of Final Decision dated January 11, 1982).
     9.  The Commission declines to impose civil penalties herein. However, if the respondent Benefits Manager fails in the future to provide prompt access to non-exempt records, the violation found in this case will be a factor in the Commission’s consideration of the imposition of a civil penalty on the respondent Benefits Manager.      
     The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
     1. Henceforth, the respondents shall provide non-exempt requested records promptly.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 12, 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:
Carl Liano
1 Charles Road
Seymour, CT  06483
Richard Weiner, Benefits Manager,
City of Bridgeport; and City of Bridgeport
c/o Gregory M. Conte, Esq.
Arthur Laske, Esq.
Bridgeport City Attorney’s Office
999 Broad Street
Bridgeport, CT  06604
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2012-603/FD/cac/6/12/2013