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Final Decision FIC2013-158
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Ehtan Brook,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2013-158
Parking Violations Bureau,
City of Bridgeport; and
City of Bridgeport,
     Respondents
October 9, 2013

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 19, 2013, 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 March 15, 2013, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to respond to his inquiries.
     3.  It is found that, by letter dated February 28, 2013, the complainant requested, with respect to his parking tickets:
1. Access to promulgated portions of the City Charter or ordinances or other type of established guidelines including applicable state statutes which provide for a City of Bridgeport Parking Violations Bureau, which provide for such Bureau to hire, to issue parking tickets (tickets which may be issued either by its own officers or by police officers), to contract for an administrative hearing officer and to conduct hearings;
2. Access to that public information which describes the purpose of the Parking Violations Bureau;
3. Access to the portion of the City Charter, ordinances, other type of established guidelines including applicable state statutes which describe the role, position and scope of authority for an administrative hearing officer;
4. Access to the guidelines for and the selection and decision process for the official action of contracting with Attorney Salvatore DePiano to act as the administrative hearing officer in the subject hearing on February 27th;
5. A copy of the current contract with provides for Attorney Salvatore DePiano to act as the administrative hearing officer for the subject hearing of February 27th;
6. A copy of procedures and guidelines for such an administrative hearing;
7. Access to a recent financial report for the Parking Violations Bureau;
8. The name and CAD number of the police officer who issued the above-referenced citation on March 28, 2012;
9. The names of the Bureau officers who issued the respective citations issued in November 2012 to the vehicle with license CT-747DW;
10. The authority for the decision to hire Officer Peter Keogh in his present position with the Bureau including access to the selection and reviews process for the decision;
11. A current position description for that held by Officer Peter Keogh;
12. Legal references for the statements made in the administrative hearing of February 27th by Officer Keogh that (1) imposed fines must be paid on the same day that a ruling is issued, (2) that all decisions of the Parking Violations Bureau are final, and (3) there is no available means for appeal of decision of the Parking Violations Bureau;
13. Legal authority for officials of the Parking Violations Bureau to order vehicles to be “booted”; and
14. Access to established guidelines and procedures for such action to “boot” vehicles.
     4.  It is found that the respondents provided responsive records to the complainant first on April 16, 2013, and additional records subsequently, including the weeks immediately preceding the hearing on this matter.
     5.  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.
     6.  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, (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.  (Emphasis supplied).
     7.  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.”
     8.  It is found that, to the extent they exist, the requested records are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
     9.  It is found that much of the information requested by the complainant required the respondents to conduct research.
     10. It is found that the respondents nonetheless willingly conducted such research, and provided all records in their possession that are responsive to the complainant’s request.
     11. It is 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 October 9, 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:
Ethan Book
P.O. Box 1385
Fairfield, CT  06825
Parking Violations Bureau, City of Bridgeport;
and City of Bridgeport
c/o Gregory M. Conte, Esq.
Office of the City Attorney
Margaret & Morton Government Center
999 Broad Street
Bridgeport, CT  06604
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2013-158/FD/cac/10/9/2013