FOI: MichaelDaly

Meet Commissioner Michael Daly


Michael Daly is a man of few words. But, like E.F. Hutton, when Mike Daly speaks, people listen.

           Now in his second term on the Freedom of Information Commission, Daly likes to listen carefully during commission meetings, digest all the evidence, ask questions when he believes he needs more information and speak up only when he believes it’s warranted.  When he opines on a matter, it is only after careful deliberation. And people tend to pay attention.

            “I’ve learned that what we do is very important,” Daly, a commissioner since 2013, said. “Ensuring government transparency is critical.”

             Daly admits that he had no major interest in the world of government transparency or FOI when approached by former state senator and then Executive Director of the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee Jonathan Harris about filling a vacancy on the FOI Commission.

             “I had never had a lot of interaction with the FOI Act,” Daly admitted. But he was asked to come on board and had always wanted “to serve our state in some fashion.” He agreed to become a commissioner and shortly thereafter was appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy and confirmed by the legislature.

              A practicing attorney, Daly specializes in civil and criminal litigation, real estate development, contract negotiation and probate law. So FOI hadn’t really been on his radar. 

               “I knew of the statute, but serving on the commission has given me a whole new perspective,” he said. Accustomed to long days in court, Daly has found his work at the FOIC “interesting and challenging” in a different manner.

               “I have truly enjoyed my time on the commission. I’ve been very impressed by the lawyering and by the entire staff,” he said. “It’s a bright, energetic staff and everyone seems very eager to help. The discussions about the case are intellectually stimulating.”

               Daly is the managing partner at Furey, Donovan, Tracy and Daly, of West Hartford and Bristol. A resident of Farmington, he has been a member of the firm since 1982. A Hartford native, Daly graduated from Northwest Catholic High school in 1975, Trinity College in 1979 and Western New England University School of Law in 1982. Daly has been involved in several local organizations including the Friends of Bushnell Memorial, the Winding Trails Recreational Facility and the Farmington Democratic Town Committee of which has was the vice chairman for six years.

               While he has enjoyed his time on the FOIC, he has some concerns about how some citizens are utilizing the law.

                “I fear we’ve gotten away to some extent from the original intent of this law. A tremendous amount of cost and effort is going into these complaints,” he said.  Daly indicated he was disturbed by the repetitious nature and volume of complaints from some individuals.

                Daly is looking forward to working with staff and fellow commissioners in the coming years.

               “I have to say it again. Everyone has been really great to work with. The collegiality among commissioners and the respect that everyone has for each other is really special,” he said.

Content Last Modified on 5/30/2018 11:31:19 AM