Tuccio v. Director, State of Connecticut, Judicial Review Council
The Judicial Review Council violated the Freedom of Information Act by withholding meeting minutes in their entirety, rather than, as in the 2003 Freedom of Information Commission case of K. Joy Banach v. Executive Director, State of Connecticut Judicial Review Council, only that portion of the minutes pertaining to the investigation of a complaint that is required to be kept confidential pursuant to C.G.S. §51-51l. Edward Tuccio appealed to the Freedom of Information Commission alleging that the Judicial Review Council and its director violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to comply with his records request for minutes of a certain meeting and attendees. The FOIC found that the respondents informed the complainant that the requested meeting minutes were not available under the FOIA and were confidential pursuant to C.G.S. §51-51l(a). The director testified that the minutes were confidential under the statute because they contained discussion and information pertaining to the investigation of complaints against judges brought before the commission and cited Banach. The FOIC initially dismissed the case without a hearing. The hearing officer then ordered the respondents to submit the contested records for in camera inspection. Following review of the six pages of records, the FOIC found that only certain portions of the records were exempt from disclosure pursuant to C.G.S. §51-51l(a). This case was distinguished from Banach in that the request sought the minutes in their entirety, rather than, as in Banach, only that portion of the minutes pertaining to the investigation of the complaint required to be kept confidential pursuant to C.G.S. §51-51l. The FOIC concluded that the respondents violated the FOIA by withholding the record, in its entirety, from the complainant. The respondents were ordered to provide a copy of the minutes to the complainant at no cost with those portions found exempt redacted and to strictly comply, henceforth, with the provisions of C.G.S. §1-210(a) and §1-212(a).