White v. City Clerk, City of Bridgeport
All persons have a right to receive copies of nonexempt public records upon written request. In dockets FIC 2011-677 and FIC 2011-697, Thomas White, then Legislative Services Director of the city of Bridgeport, appealed to the Freedom of Information Commission alleging that the city of Bridgeport and its clerk violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to provide him with requested copies of records associated with agenda items for certain city council meetings. The clerk responded by email to the complainant's first emailed request, at issue in docket FIC 2011-677, that the complainant come to her office and make his own copies. The FOIC found in both dockets that the requested records were public records which must be disclosed in accordance with C.G.S. §1-200(5), §1-210(a) and §1-212(a) unless exempt from disclosure. The respondent clerk maintained most, if not all, of the requested records by the time of the respective requests and failed to provide the requested copies as of the consolidated hearing on the matters. The FOIC concluded that all persons, including the complainant, have a right to receive copies of nonexempt public records upon written request. The clerk's failure to provide copies of the requested records violated C.G.S. §1-210(a) and §1-212(a). No other city official was found involved in the violations and the complaints against the city were dismissed. The FOIC noted several FOIA complaints between the parties and that the complainant received an electronic copy of certain requested council meeting records on the same day that the city council adopted a resolution defunding his position as legislative services director. In both dockets, FIC 2011-697 and FIC 2011-677, the FOIC ordered the respondent clerk to strictly comply, henceforth, with C.G.S. §1-210(a) and §1-212(a).