FOI: Minutes09282016

TO:                 Freedom of Information Commission
FROM:            Thomas A. Hennick
RE:                 Minutes of the Commission’s regular meeting of September 28, 2016
DATE:             September 29, 2016

A regular meeting of the Freedom of Information Commission was held on September 28, 2016, in the Freedom of Information Hearing Room, 18-20 Trinity Street, Hartford, Connecticut. The meeting convened at 2:05 p.m. with the following Commissioners present:

                        

             Commissioner Owen P. Eagan, presiding

             Commissioner Jay Shaw (participated via speakerphone)

             Commissioner Jonathan J. Einhorn

             Commissioner Matthew Streeter                                                                    

             Commissioner Christopher P. Hankins

             Commissioner Lenny T. Winkler                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Also present were staff members, Mary E. Schwind, Victor R. Perpetua, Tracie C. Brown, Lisa F. Siegel, Kathleen K. Ross, Valicia D. Harmon, Paula S. Pearlman, Cindy Cannata, and Thomas A. Hennick.

 

The Commissioners voted, 5-0, to approve the minutes of the Commission’s regular meeting of September 14, 2016. Commissioner Winkler abstained.

 

        Those in attendance were informed that the Commission does not ordinarily record the remarks made at its meetings, but will do so on request.


Docket #FIC 2015-885                      Kacey Lewis v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department

                                                       of Correction; and State of Connecticut, Department of Correction


 The Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the Hearing Officer’s Report.


Docket #FIC 2016-0005                       Scott Swain v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut,

                                                          Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection;

                                                          State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services

                                                          and Public Protection; Commissioner, State of

                                                          Connecticut, Department of Correction; and State of

                                                          Connecticut, Department of Correction


Scott Swain participated via speakerphone. Attorney James Neil appeared on behalf of the respondents. The Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the Hearing Officer’s Report. The proceedings were recorded digitally. 


Docket #FIC 2016-0044                       Omar Miller v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut,

                                                          Department of Correction; and State of Connecticut,

                                                          Department of Correction


Omar Miller participated via speakerphone. Attorney James Neil appeared on behalf of the respondents. The Commissioners unanimously voted to send the matter back to the Hearing Officer for the purpose of reopening the hearing.  The proceedings were recorded digitally.


Docket #FIC 2015-544                         Laura Terry v. David Freedman, as Member, Newtown

                                                          Board of Education; Kathy Hamilton, As Member,

                                                          Newtown Board of Education; and Newtown Board of

                                                          Education


Laura Terry appeared on her own behalf. Attorney Mark Sommaruga appeared on  behalf of the respondents. The Commissioners voted, 5-1, to approve the Hearing Officer’s  Report. Commissioner Streeter voted against approval.


 Docket #FIC 2015-771                        Laura Roche v. David Freedman and Kathy Hamilton as

                                                          Members, Newtown Board of Education; and Newtown

                                                          Board of Education


Laura Roche appeared on her own behalf. Attorney Mark Sommaruga appeared on  behalf of the respondents. The Commissioners voted, 5-1, to approve the Hearing Officer’s  Report. Commissioner Streeter voted against approval. 


Docket #FIC 2015-786                           Wolfgang Halbig v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut,

                                                            Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection;

                                                            and State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency

                                                            Services and Public Protection


The Commissioners tabled the matter.


 Docket #FIC 2015-794                         Andrew Matthews v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut,

                                                           Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection;

                                                           and State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency

                                                           Services and Public Protection


The Commissioners tabled the matter.


Docket #FIC 2016-0029                         Daniel Lynch v. Chief Court Administrator, State of 

                                                            Connecticut, Judicial Branch; and State of Connecticut,

                                                            Judicial Branch


Mark Sargent appeared on behalf of the complainant. Attorney Martin Libbin appeared on behalf of the respondents. The Commissioners unanimously voted to amend the Hearing Officer’s Report. The Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the Hearing Officer’s Report as amended.* The proceedings were recorded digitally. 


Docket #FIC 2016-0077                          Mark Sargent v. Executive Director, External Affairs

                                                             Division, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut; and

                                                             Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut


Mark Sargent appeared on his own behalf. Attorney Martin Libbin appeared  on behalf of the respondents. The Commissioners unanimously voted to incorporate arguments  and statements presented by the parties in #FIC 2016-029 in their consideration of this matter. The Commissioners unanimously voted to amend the Hearing Officer’s Report. The  Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the Hearing Officer’s Report as amended.* The  proceedings were recorded digitally. 


Docket #FIC 2016-0078                           Mark Sargent v. Melissa Farley, Executive Director,

                                                              External Affairs Division, Judicial Branch, State of

                                                              Connecticut; and Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut


  Mark Sargent appeared on his own behalf. Attorney Martin Libbin appeared  on behalf of the respondents. The Commissioners unanimously voted to incorporate arguments  and statements presented by the parties in #FIC 2016-029 in their consideration of this matter.  The Commissioners unanimously voted to amend the Hearing Officer’s Report. The  Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the Hearing Officer’s Report as amended.* The  proceedings were recorded digitally.


Docket #FIC 2016-0079                         Mark Sargent v. Melissa Farley, Executive Director of

                                                            External Affairs, State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch;

                                                            Martin Libbin, Director, Legal Services, State of

                                                            Connecticut, Judicial Branch; and State of Connecticut,

                                                            Judicial Branch


Mark Sargent appeared on his own behalf. Attorney Martin Libbin appeared  on behalf of the respondents. The Commissioners unanimously voted to incorporate arguments  and statements presented by the parties in #FIC 2016-029 in their consideration of this matter.  The Commissioners unanimously voted to amend the Hearing Officer’s Report. The Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the Hearing Officer’s Report as amended.* The  proceedings were recorded digitally. 


Docket #FIC 2016-0101                          Tom Curran v. Chief Administrative Officer, Town of

                                                             Stratford; and Town of Stratford


The Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the Hearing Officer’s Report.

 

 

                Paula S. Pearlman reported on the Supreme Court decision in Michael C. Harrington v. Freedom of Information Commission et al., (SC 19586), officially released September 6, 2016.

        

                   Victor R. Perpetua and Paula S. Pearlman reported on pending appeals.

 

                    Mary E. Schwind reported that the Lateisha Rainey had been hired as a Human Resources Specialist.

 

                           The meeting was adjourned at 4:41 p.m.

 

 ______________                         

Thomas A. Hennick

MINREGmeeting 09282016/tah/09292016

 

 

  

 


 

              AMENDMENTS


 

Docket #FIC 2016-0029                     Daniel Lynch v. Chief Court Administrator, State of 

                                                        Connecticut, Judicial Branch; and State of Connecticut, Judicial

                                                        Branch


The Hearing Officer’s Report is amended as follows:

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on [May 19, 2016,] JUNE 10, 2016 at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. 

 

             3. The respondents contend that the [allegations made by the complainant] SUBCOMMITTEE MEETINGS AT ISSUE do not relate to their administrative functions, and that the Commission therefore lacks subject matter jurisdiction.

             

  1. In this case, it is found that GAL subcommittee is a subcommittee of the Judicial Branch’s

     Family Re-engineering Committee.  It is found that the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme

     Court established the GAL Subcommittee “to study and recommend the minimum qualifications

     necessary to be eligible for appointment as a guardian ad litem and attorney for THE minor child in

     family matters, as well as a process by which guardians ad litem and attorneys for the minor child

     may be removed from the list of those deemed eligible for appointment in family matters.”

     

Docket #FIC 2016-0077                        Mark Sargent v. Executive Director, External Affairs Division,
                                                           Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut; and Judicial Branch,
                                                           State of Connecticut

 

The Hearing Officer’s Report is amended as follows:

 

           The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on [May 19, 2016] JUNE 10, 2016, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  For purposes of hearing, the matter was consolidated with Docket #FIC 2016-0078; Mark Sargent v. Melissa Farley, Executive Director, External Affairs Division, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut; and Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut, and Docket #FIC 2016-0079; Mark Sargent v. Melissa Farley, Executive Director of External Affairs, State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch; Martin Libbin, Director, Legal Services, State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch; and State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch.

 

  3. It is further found that, by letter dated January 25, 2016, the complainant requested that

 the respondents provide[d] him with copies of records as follows:


  1. With regard to the request referenced in paragraph 2, above, the respondents contend that

    the [allegations made by the complainant] REQUESTED RECORDS do not relate to their

    administrative functions, and that the Commission therefore lacks subject matter jurisdiction. 

            10.   In this case, it is found that GAL Subcommittee is a subcommittee

 of the Judicial Branch’s Family Reengineering Committee.  It is found that the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court established the GAL Subcommittee “to study and recommend the minimum qualifications necessary to be eligible for appointment as a guardian ad litem and attorney for THE minor child in family matters, as well as a process by which guardians ad litem and attorneys for the minor child may be removed from the list of those deemed eligible for appointment in family matters.”

 

            13. It is concluded that the records responsive to the request in paragraph 2, above, do not pertain to an administrative function of the Judicial Branch, within the meaning of §1-200(1), G.S., and that therefore such records are not public records, within the meaning of §1-200(5), G.S.  Accordingly, it is further concluded that the Commission lacks jurisdiction [to address the allegations in paragraph 4, above, with regard to the request described in paragraph 2, above] OVER THE REQUESTED RECORDS. 


 

Docket #FIC 2016-0078                        Mark Sargent v. Melissa Farley, Executive Director, External
                                                            Affairs Division, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut, Judicial
                                                            Branch; and State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch

 

The Hearing Officer’s Report is amended as follows:

                               

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on [May 19, 2016] JUNE 10, 2016, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  For purposes of hearing, the matter was consolidated with Docket #FIC 2016-0077; Mark Sargent v. Melissa Farley, Executive Director, External Affairs Division, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut; and Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut, and Docket #FIC 2016-0079; Mark Sargent v. Melissa Farley, Executive Director of External Affairs, State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch; Martin Libbin, Director, Legal Services, State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch; and State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch.

 


 

 

Docket #FIC 2016-0079                       Mark Sargent v. Melissa Farley, Executive Director of

                                                           External Affairs, State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch; Martin

                                                           Libbin, Director, Legal Services, State of Connecticut,

                                                           Judicial Branch; and State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch

 

     The Hearing Officer’s Report is amended as follows:

 

                The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on [May 19, 2016,] JUNE 10, 2016 at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  For purposes of hearing, the matter was consolidated with Docket #FIC 2016-0077; Mark Sargent v. Executive Director, External Affairs Division, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut; and Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut, and Docket #FIC 2016-0078; Mark Sargent v. Melissa Farley, Executive Director, External Affairs Division, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut; and Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut.

 

  1. With regard to the request referenced in paragraph 2, above, the respondents contend that

     the [allegations made by the complainant] REQUESTED RECORDS do not relate to their

    administrative functions, and that the Commission therefore lacks subject matter jurisdiction. 

              14. It is concluded that the submissions that were received by the Judicial Branch, or records that reveal how the submissions were used by the Judicial Branch, do not pertain to an administrative function of the Judicial Branch, within the meaning of §1-200(1), G.S., and that therefore such records are not public records, within the meaning of §1-200(5), G.S.  Accordingly, it is further concluded that the Commission lacks jurisdiction [to address the allegations in the complaint] OVER THE DISCLOSURE OF THE REQUESTED RECORDS.

 

 






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